Three years ago, Bec Copper was your average 14-year-old girl, enjoying school and her teenage years in Newcastle. She went about her life entirely unaware that the strange and persistent pain in her right leg was actually cancer.
Bec initially brushed off the pain as a strained muscle, not giving it a second thought. Soon after, a friend pointed out some swelling which prompting her to see a doctor. Her diagnosis – Stage 4 cancer – rhabdomyosarcoma.
Over the past three years, Bec’s life has been consumed with battling childhood cancer. First believing that she had overcome her illness, and then relapsing one month later. Bec now has relapsed stage 4 rhabdomyosarcoma and her cancer is considered ‘incurable’ by standard treatments. Even though she is still undergoing chemo treatment to keep the cancer at bay, Bec now hopes to be enrolled on a new personalised medicine program – Zero Childhood Cancer, led by Children’s Cancer Institute and The Kids Cancer Centre at Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick, part of The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network that will launch later this year”.
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.
This program is complex and expensive, and it is only through support from the community that it can once day become a reality for children. When Bec found out the cost to deliver all the testing elements of the Zero Childhood Cancer program to each child is estimated to be around $20,000, she decided she wanted to fundraise for kids just like her. In what can only be described as an act of total selflessness, Bec has decided to lead a crowdfunding campaign for the Children’s Cancer Institute – aiming to raise $20,000 in just 35 days.
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.
Over the past three years, Bec has endured toxic chemotherapy. She suffered through nausea, illness, significant weight loss, hair loss and damage to her immune system that left her home or hospital bound for more than 12 months. In addition to this, Bec also suffered significant damage and loss of sensation in her right foot, making it difficult to walk.
Despite all she has been through, Bec has always held her head up and taken everything in her stride. She even named her tumour ‘Terry the tumour, who needed to stop being so clingy”.
As far as Bec is concerned, research is her only hope. She wants to be part of a movement help fund Children’s Cancer Institute’s research that she believes will one day cure childhood cancer.
The $20,000 Bec is trying to raise will help Children’s Cancer Institute get closer to achieving their goal of Zero Childhood Cancer. You can help Bec reach her target by donating to her crowdfunding campaign.