“Wishing for a little brother is like wishing for a puppy and receiving a hell hound...
Our eldest son Mitch, had always enjoyed a strong relationship with his younger brother. The boys were highly competitive and had spent their younger years playing the same sports, and at times, in the same teams.
Both attended Sydney Grammar School, were concurrently, Swans Academy players, and accomplished cricketers/rugby players - suffice to say they had a great deal in common. There were also moments with regularity, where the two locked horns and agreed on very little.
Breaking the news of Cooper's diagnosis to Mitch was nothing short of heartbreaking. His immediate response amidst the anguish was "Why Cooper? Why not me?" Mitch's response to the news was heart-wrenching. I did not have any answers, but understood intuitively, I had to do what I could at that time, to be positive about the unknown.
As much as we tried over the weeks ahead to spread our time evenly between the boys, the day as a joke, Mitch referred to himself as "The forgotten child", was the light bulb moment we needed to remind us, we were in unchartered territory.
When prompted to speak about Cooper's diagnosis, he mentioned anger was the prevailing raw emotion, together with fear, distress and helplessness.
Functioning day to day became fraught with guilt, as he felt he was doing all of the things his brother now could not do. Typifying his selflessness throughout this journey were his words, "It wasn't my place to be affected by Cooper's diagnosis, because I was not the one diagnosed with cancer. My job was to do all I could to make it better for Coops..."