Not many people have heard of rhabdomyosarcoma. It’s a cancer of muscle and connective tissue, a type of sarcoma. It’s the cancer Bec Cooper was diagnosed with three years ago. Before then, Bec was your average teenage girl, enjoying school and her teenage years – until one day she was diagnosed with advanced cancer.
Bec’s treatment started with a heavy dose of chemotherapy and extended hospital stays at John Hunter Children’s Hospital in Newcastle. Finally her family got the wonderful news that it was time for her to move onto maintenance treatment. This meant Bec still had to go into hospital weekly but was able to continue treatment at home.
This joy was to be short-lived. In August 2016, Bec and her family received the devastating news they were hoping never to hear – her cancer had returned and her relapsed cancer is very aggressive and considered incurable by standard treatment.
Crowdfunding for kids’ cancer personalised medicine
In what can only be described as an act of total selflessness, Bec has decided to lead a crowdfunding campaign – aiming to raise $20,000 in just 35 days. That will pay for the testing components required for one child to benefit from Children Cancer Institute and The Kid’s Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick’s Zero Childhood Cancer Personalised Medicine Program.
The Zero Childhood Cancer program is Australia’s first ever personalised medicine program for children with high-risk or relapsed cancer. The program will involve the detailed laboratory analysis of each child’s unique cancer cells, to help identify the drugs most likely to kill their specific cancer. Scientists and doctors will then work collaboratively to identify and deliver the most effective treatment plan, specifically tailored to suit each child’s individual disease.
Without initiatives like Zero Childhood Cancer, sadly, Bec knows children just like her have very limited options. She hopes that by sharing her story, the community will help to fund this vitally important program.
Even though she’s still undergoing chemo treatment to keep the cancer at bay, Bec now hopes to be enrolled herself in the Zero Childhood Cancer program.
“If it wasn’t for research, Bec would more than likely not be here today” – Dana, Bec’s Mum
At time of writing, Bec has almost reached her fundraising target of $20K. With less than a week to go, she’s almost there! Over 250 donors have generously contributed a total of over $19,500 since the beginning of July with donations ranging from $2 to $1000. Great work Bec!
Visit Bec’s donation page to read more.