Community spirit to a fine tee
COFFS Coast businesses have rallied to support leukaemia patient Cooper Hill, who urgently requires a bone marrow transplant in Sydney.
Young Cooper and his mum Linda have faced an incredibly tough year and their story has touched the hearts of many.
The annual Wayne Glenn Memorial Golf Day, in honour of the big-hearted Coffs businessman who left a cancer trust to the community, has raised a large total for Cooper and his family.
Coffs Coast businesses rally for young Cooper Hill
LINDA Hill had her world turned upside down after her son Cooper complained of a sore arm at preschool.
That day she'll never forget was August 31, last year.
Three hours later a blood test confirmed what no family ever wants to hear - Cooper was diagnosed with Philadelphia-positive acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (Ph+ALL).
This is where a chromosome rearrangement leads to the development of ALL, a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow.
Within three hours of Cooper's diagnosis, they were flown to the Sydney Children's Hospital and he started treatment the next day.
During the past seven months, Cooper has undergone numerous treatments, procedures, surgeries and has developed many infections due to the side effects of chemotherapy.
He has had to learn to walk again, relies daily on medication and receives nutrition through a feeding tube.
Cooper is also autistic, so every day is a struggle, as he is constantly being spoken to, touched and has no routine.
While Cooper's mum, Linda, his sole carer, is with him in Sydney, his older sister Jasmine is still in the Orara Valley living with her grandmother.
Being apart takes a toll on both Jasmine and Cooper and adds to the daily struggle.
Cooper, now five years old, requires a bone marrow transplant and will have to undergo aggressive rounds of chemotherapy, full body irradiation and be in complete isolation for months in hospital. To help keep Cooper's spirits up, his kindy class at Nana Glen Public School chat to him via video link when it's possible.
This small local school has had the pupils leading the way to come up with new ideas to raise funds for Cooper, and that is where his story touched the hearts of local businessman Craig Spencer from FM Glenn and Shaun French from Complete Pest Control .
So this year the Wayne Glenn Memorial Golf Day donated its proceeds to the Hill Family to help them with the everyday costs, after uprooting their lives in a single day and Linda having to leave her job, relocate to a capital city, all while dealing with the emotional turmoil of the diagnosis and immediate treatment for her son.