Welcome! Have you ever heard the saying; "You're one in a million?" If you're Cooper Cook, you really do fit this description!
Why? Well, because in September, 2008, at only 8 weeks old, Cooper was diagnosed with Infantile Fibrosarcoma, which originated in the parotid gland (head and neck area). Unbelievably, the odds of this type of cancer diagnosis are 1 in one million, and particularly in this area of the body, are 1 in 5 million.
Unfortunately, over 10,000 family units feel the same type of overwhelming thrust of emotions, that we as Cooper's parents felt with Cooper's diagnosis, each and every year. Yes, the odds may be a little different for each specific child, but the fact remains that every single day over 40 children are diagnosed with childhood cancer. It is with this overwhelming news that a child, their parents, siblings, extended family, and friends begin a journey that no one would have hoped for.
It is because of our experience as parents of a child that has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, that we launched the Cooper Trooper Foundation. Our mission is to attack childhood cancer from a little different perspective- through the eyes of a parent taking care of other children too. We found in our walk through this storm, that there is a huge need for hospital-based sibling resources for parents to take home to their other children to help nurture and care for them through this traumatic process. We have also found that research, specific to childhood cancers, is severely underfunded. There is a lack of awareness of the HUGE need for pediatric cancer research.
Therefore, the foundation develops and distributes the Cooper Trooper Courage Kit, available to all siblings of children diagnosed with cancer. It focuses on cancer education, sibling courage, and family care. Additionally, The Foundation supports an Endowed Fund at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, specifically for pediatric cancer research. Will you join us in our mission?
Now, for the rest of "Cooper the Trooper's" story. After two complicated surgeries to resect a tumor that represented about 20% of the volume of his head (picture a tangerine inside an infant's head), losing some feeling in the right side of his face, mouth, and tongue, and overcoming two long hospital stays, the "Trooper" is cancer-free at this time! His prognosis is very positive, however, he continues to have MRI scans every 6 months to make sure that there is no recurrence of the tumor......Is there any question why he is called "Cooper the Trooper"?