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.
“My earliest memories of Cooper are from Year 6 at the Scot’s College. With a mutual passion for sport and an identical sense of humour, we were destined to become really good mates. Funnily enough, it wasn’t until he had left Scots and moved to Grammar that we became so close.
Cooper’s cancer diagnosis was a really confronting experience. One of my biggest concerns was whether Cooper would be able to continue playing sport because he loved it so much. However, Cooper didn’t let his condition stop him, he continued to persevere, insisting he was the best sportsman despite playing one handed. Cooper’s sporting efforts are a testament to his perseverance and resilience.
Cooper rarely discussed his cancer because he didn’t want it to impact those around him. He was so brave and selfless, a true role model. No matter how tough things seemed to be I always believed he was going to be okay because he was so positive and motivated.
I am very proud to be an Ambassador for Cooper because I want others to be inspired by his perseverance and courage, just like I am. While I’m not too sure what being an ambassador entails, I feel very safe in Tania’s hands.”
Lachie Swaney CRBF Ambassador:
In late 2015, a very excited Cooper, returned home from school one day to let us know he had found the ‘an AFL rising star ‘ at Sydney Grammar School. He could hardly contain his excitement, nor could he find the superlatives he needed to describe this young talent, he had discovered at a school athletics carnival. The young man in question was Lachie Swaney, who fast became a very dear friend to Cooper until his passing in 2017, always bringing joy to his life when he needed it most.
Lachie is a member of the QBE Sydney Swans Academy. Last year he took part in the U/16 National Championships as a member of the NSW/ACT team while this year he played in all 5 games for the U/18 Sydney Swans Academy side in the National Academy Series.
“I am very happy to be coming on board as an ambassador as Cooper was a close friend of mine through the time we spent together through sport both inside and outside of school. He also was a major influence on my football as a self-proclaimed guru, providing endless support, making it a very easy decision when Tania asked me as I hope to work with the foundation to ensure that Cooper’s legacy lives on through continual research of Sarcoma.”