My relationship with Cooper began in our first year of school at Sydney Grammar. Sharing a liking of sport, our friendship soon blossomed in the coming years.
Our friendship was forged in our early years of high school which involved an endless pursuit of evading all school work and figuring out ways to avoid our next detention or homework submission.
But it was when he was presented with his life changing diagnosis that Cooper’s great character became even more apparent. A memory that I treasure was when Coops returned to cricket at Weigall against St Joseph’s College. After months of chemo and an intensive surgery, Cooper managed to train and play cricket at 1stXI standard. Cooper was unlike any person I’ve ever known. In the face of immense hardship, he always remained true to his character and maintained his sense of humour.
I am proud to be an ambassador for the Cooper Rice Brading Foundation, a cause that one of my best mates worked tirelessly to promote at the hardest point of his life, in the hope to save further lives.
I first met Cooper when he joined Scots and instantly became extremely good friends. We shared a passion for sport wether it was playing it, watching it or discussing it.
I played with and against Coops in multiple sports Cricket, Rugby and Aussie Rules to name a few, he was such an exceptional athlete which meant it was a lot better to play with him rather than against him. When ever I was around cooper I could guarantee that I could have an uncontrollable laughing fit, he was the funniest person I’ve ever met and that never changed.
When Cooper moved to grammar I was fearful that our friendship would grow distant but thankfully it never did. When Cooper got sick he never complained not once, he was so inspirational the whole way through and showed endless amounts of courage and perseverance. Coops really is a role model, he is an inspiration to me and I am sure to everyone around him.
I am very proud to be an Ambassador for Cooper because he was such a good person and a good friend.
As the only other new student in my class when I first moved to Australia as a 10 year-old, Cooper was the first friend I made. This friendship was hardened on the sporting field, a place where Cooper, myself, and all our friends were happiest. This never changed, and, as it was when we started high school, we neared the finish by spending our time throwing the footy around at the park.
Cooper was persistent during our last year together. Even when the treatment and the cancer did their worst to his body, his sense of humour and his spirit were as strong as ever. No matter how low I’m sure he felt, he would never let on to his friends for fear that we would treat him any differently to how we always had.
I had never heard of Sarcoma when Cooper was diagnosed, and that’s a crying shame because I know that it means that so many others will also have never heard of it until it affects someone they love. That’s why the awareness and research that Cooper and the Foundation are helping is so important, and to support that in any way is a real honour. The work that Tania, Colin, Mitch and everyone involved in the Foundation has done is fantastic, and I can’t wait to see the wonderful work that can be done in the future.
When I moved to Sydney for the start of year 6, Cooper, also new to the school, was a massive influence in making that transition seamless. It was Cooper and his family who took my brother and me to watch an AFL game for the first time, a sport I had never seen before and it was Cooper who later encouraged me to give the sport a try for myself. It was from these foundations that our friendship was built.
Learning about Cooper’s diagnosis was obviously a shock and a very sad moment, but it wasn’t something I understood the realities of very well. My initial mindset was always one of optimism, that this would be a great challenge but one Cooper would come away from. I think this was largely the attitude Cooper adopted as well. One of the things I most admired about Cooper was his resilience and refusal to ever complain. He much preferred to keep himself busy and enjoy spending time with his mates than feel sorry for himself, which is something that definitely rubbed off on the people close to him.
When Tania asked if I would be interested in being an ambassador for the foundation, it was an easy decision. The work that the foundation has done so far in raising awareness and funding research into Sarcoma is astonishing. Cooper gave me so much through my friendship with him, so I leapt at the chance to help in any way I could. I am immensely proud to represent to foundation and I hope we can continue the great work that has already been done.
Cooper was one of my closest mates at SGS. It feels like not long ago that we were messing about in our year 10 humanities class.
My fondest memory was kicking around an AFL ball on Birchgrove oval only to be pleasantly interrupted by Tania making sure that we had been well fed.
Throughout Coops’ first year of treatment, he lived as if nothing had changed. He remained the humorous,
enthusiastic and outgoing person that I know. Although he never spoke of his suffering or his Foundation, the work he had put into it was indescribable. His courage in the face of adversity is what was most inspiring.
I am proud to be an ambassador in honour of Cooper’s legacy which he worked so tirelessly to establish.
It is so important to educate our society of such a rare cancer as doctors at Lifehouse are seeing 3-4 new cases a week. I’m eager to help the Foundation progress in any way that I can.
My lasting memories of the friendship I shared with Cooper are of his unique sense of humour, our shared love of sport and competition and the courage he displayed throughout his illness. His personality and strength of character remain influential in my life and are never far from my thoughts.
The enduring impact of Cooper’s life on his friends remains immediately apparent in our Scots friendship group, through both consistent references to hilarious and unforgettable moments we had with Cooper and the decisions and actions each of us make, for which Cooper’s bravery and determination will always provide guidance.
In my 18 years I have known several family members and friends, in addition to Cooper, who have been diagnosed with cancer. Whilst the therapies they have undergone have often been brutal and challenging, thankfully with research and funding there are increasingly successful treatment protocols for many cancers and I have been able to see these family members and friends recover and thrive.
At the time of Cooper’s diagnosis I assumed that this would be the case for him too. I did not realise the aggressive nature of Sarcoma, nor the limited options for successful treatment and survival.
It is with this in mind that I am eager to be involved with the Foundation to assist in any way I can with lobbying for funding and research into Sarcoma.