Team Member: Donna Murillo
Cooper's Family wrote -
Our entire family was excited when my youngest brother Eric and his wife Danielle made the announcement: they were expecting a baby boy! What's more, they already had a name picked out: Cooper!
As the months went by, the anticipation built. Eric & Danielle did what any first-time parents do: they built a nursery, visited the Dr so many times they lost count, made space for all the baby stuff, and organized their whole lives around Cooper's pending arrival.
It was only 10 days ago that Eric and Danielle, and the rest of our clan, caught a good glimpse of Cooper for the first time. You know how it works if you've done this before. The happy mom-to-be shares her ultrasound pictures, the family huddles around the little orange or blue print out and then, the inevitable, fun, and silly "He looks like..." and "He's got his father's..." comparisons begin.
Joy for Cooper's arrival in just a few days' time. Peace with the knowledge that Danielle's pregnancy had been mostly smooth, that Cooper was in good health as all the screenings & visits had shown.
And hope for a smooth labor & delivery for Danielle.
And then on January 20, 2015, joy, happiness, love became real, arriving in the form of Cooper, who weighed in at 8lbs 6oz. As Danielle said a few days later when she got to hold him for the first time, "I've waited so long to meet you Cooper!"
Sadly though, little Cooper isn't well. Cooper's troubles were spotted by physicians right away and less than 36 hours later, he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, or AML. As the family learned in talks with specialists later, AML is a common form of leukemia in adults, but is very rare in newborns (some studies say AML in newborns occurs in around 5 births per million).
The leukemia has resulted in other serious problems for Cooper; he has some bleeding on his brain, the expected counts of cells in his blood are off, his liver is ennlarged, and his little body has extensive bruising.
Cooper is being well cared for at the Level 4 NICU of Rocky Mountain Children's Hospital in Denver, CO. Danielle is recovering well from her c-section and both she and Eric are staying strong and maintaining a positive outlook.
Cooper and family are facing a tough road ahead. This includes a minimum of 6 months of chemotherapy, to begin as soon as possible, potential bone marrow transplants, ICU hospitalization, and other trial treatments. Cooper will be hospitized for the entirety of this treatment.
Eric & Danielle both have loving extended families in California & New England, and we've all mustered in support of Cooper. We're doing all we can but none of us were prepared for something like this. Even remotely.
That's why we're starting this Crowdrise campaign. Jeff & Scott, Eric's older brothers, want to remove finances from Eric & Danielle's thinking in the difficult months ahead so that they can love, support and eventually take Cooper home with them.
We aren't sure what this will cost, or if existing insurance will cover all, part or none of it, but we pledge to be open and honest about this as Cooper's treatment progresses. We're asking for your help now specifically to help fund:
- Medical services & devices for Cooper
- Support for Eric & Danielle through the turblent times ahead, including time off work and living expenses
Scott and Jeff will run the campaign, answer questions and provide updates over time.
Every penny counts, but if you can't donate now, please help us spread the word and be an advocate for Cooper.
Eric, Danielle, Cooper, and Family