Lifestyle

Boy with brain tumour campaigns for other kids

Five-year-old Cooper Christensen, pictured with parents Michael and Amanda, has terminal brain cancer and is the face of a Woolworths campaign to raise funds for Hervey Bay Hospital.
Five-year-old Cooper Christensen, pictured with parents Michael and Amanda, has terminal brain cancer and is the face of a Woolworths campaign to raise funds for Hervey Bay Hospital. Valerie Horton

COOPER Christensen is an outgoing, chirpy five-year-old boy who is fighting to stay alive.

Little Cooper was given nine to 12 months to live after doctors diagnosed an inoperable terminal brain tumour called DIPG last October and gave him 30 rounds of radiation treatment.

Now his family wants to raise awareness about his disease to help raise funds for children in a similar situation.

Cooper's mother Amanda Christensen said Woolworths stores across Hervey Bay were selling $2 wall tokens until September 14 with all proceeds going towards the purchase of life-saving equipment and resources for the children's ward at the Hervey Bay Hospital via The Children's Hospital Foundation.

The bright face of Cooper, a Hervey Bay Hospital patient, will be featured on the local token, as someone who has experienced firsthand the vital services available in the area.

Hervey Bay Hospital patient Cooper Christensen is the face of the local Woolworths’ fundraiser.
Hervey Bay Hospital patient Cooper Christensen is the face of the local Woolworths’ fundraiser. Contributed

"He was walking into walls, he couldn't walk straight, he couldn't pick up a ball without falling down and that's when I took him to the paediatrician, who sent him for an MRI straight away and we got the devastating results the same day," she said.

Cooper is now medication free and at the last check-up, two weeks ago, doctors said his tumour had not grown, which is a positive indication for his parents and two siblings who want to spend as much time as they can with him.

"At the moment he is doing really well," she said.

"We make each day count and just take it one day at a time."

"I hope Cooper's story will inspire locals to add a $2 wall token to their groceries at their local Woolworths checkout to ensure that kids in our area have access to the best possible health care," Mrs Christensen said.

In 2013, The Children's Hospital Foundation granted more than $222,000 to regional hospitals through the ongoing commitment of Woolworths to support paediatric care and services.

Woolworths Eli Waters manager Bruce Styler said the local community was always supportive of in-store fundraising initiatives and were the real heroes for sick kids.

"It's important that local people know when they support Woolworths' fundraising initiatives, including the purchase of $2 wall tokens sold at the check-out, the funds ultimately support kids in their local region," he said.

"Woolworths is proud to continue to support the Hervey Bay Hospital Children's Ward and help local families and kids.

"One hundred per cent of all wall token sales will go back to the local hospital to help improve the lives of sick and injured children like Cooper."

If you'd like to know more about Cooper's story and wish to donate or know more on DIPG, visit www.facebook.com/Cooper.E.ChristensensJourney

Topics:  brain tumours, cancer, fundraising, hervey bay



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