Eight-year-old Cooper Lunney is making it his mission to raise funds for Jeans for Genes to thank his doctors after receiving a lifesaving liver transplant.
Through the sale of his paintings, the now healthy Bundaberg boy hopes to raise money to go towards vital medical research to prevent other young people from needing a liver transplant.
His mother, Rhiannon Lunney, said Cooper came up with the idea of selling his paintings after trying to think of different ways he could raise funds.
“Cooper was trying to gather toys to sell to get money but then he saw a painting that he did about two years ago that is still hanging on his bedroom wall,” she said
“He said hang on mum, I can just paint more and sell them and so that is what he has done.”
While Cooper is now a happy and healthy eight-year-old, it wasn't always that way, with his medical journey starting at just two days old.
Doctors discovered he had a rare metabolic disorder which meant he couldn’t tolerate any proteins.
“Cooper went into a hyper ammoniac coma,” Rhiannon said.
“This disorder meant he couldn’t break down any proteins and was at risk of going back into a coma or suffering significant brain damage if his body tried.”
On his first birthday doctors advised the family that Cooper would need a lifesaving liver transplant if he was to survive.
Since then, Cooper’s liver has been kept in Sydney, with doctors using it to conduct research in the hope of finding a cure other than surgery for others with similar conditions.
“After the surgery, the team in Sydney kept Cooper’s liver and are still running tests on it to this day to try and find a solution through gene therapy to help improve the lives of others,” Rhiannon said.
“The head doctor and researcher at Jeans for Genes was Cooper’s doctor throughout the whole process and so Cooper remains in close contact.
“Cooper regularly face times and talks with the team to find out what they are doing and how they are going with their research.”
You can donate to Cooper’s fundraiser here.
All donations made today will be matched, giving your donation double the impact to Cooper's cause.