On this day six years ago, our family and friends said our final gut-wrenching goodbyes to Cooper at his funeral service.
It was the first day of spring, a day of rebirth, renewal and hope.
What we didn’t know at that time was that September 1, also marks the start of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Cooper had not long turned 18 when his body finally failed him. He was for all intents and purposes, still a child.
One by one, we saw Cooper’s hopes and dreams savagely torn away from him, despite the fact he clung onto them until the very end. The brightest of futures rewritten in the cruellest manner.
Tragically we now recognise Cooper was one of many.
More than 1,000 Australian children/adolescents will be diagnosed with cancer in 2023, & approx 5,600 will be undergoing active treatment for cancer.
Up to 20% will be diagnosed with sarcoma.
2 out of 5 diagnosed will not survive and those who do may suffer long-term health issues as current therapies/treatment options can affect a child’s growing body, and cause severe disability.
Statistically, 1 in 5 will be diagnosed with a subsequent cancer within 10 years.
In 2022, the projected average years of life lost to sarcoma in Aus, (0-24 age group) was 2,510.
2,510 years filled with the brightest futures, hopes and dreams – gone in the blink of an eye.
Hope for the future lies in research.
In May, a group of 12 highly recognisable Australians, most of whom had a very special personal connection to Cooper, joined us to highlight the devastation of sarcoma on our young. They spoke candidly about their childhoods and what led them to where they are today. Their stories form a complete contrast with those of a young person diagnosed with sarcoma – uncertain future, dreams displaced, & wasted potential.
We are excited to share some very special snippets over the weeks ahead & ask that you give thought to the potential & opportunity lost to childhood cancer – in particular, sarcoma which hits our young disproportionately hard.
Let’s work together and rewrite the narrative to ensure our children have the future always intended.
Don’t let sarcoma end the story …