SOUTHPORT Tigers junior Cooper Cumming has regained his love for the game of rugby league thanks to Gold Coast Rugby League’s Helping Hands fund and the iSelect Gold Coast Titans.
Last Tuesday, Cooper visited the iSelect Gold Coast Titans headquarters to meet Titans players and receive gift packs donated by both the Helping Hands fund and the Titans.
Cooper is a Southport Tigers junior nicknamed the "Magnet" for his ability to read play and attract the rugby league ball.
In 2012 Cooper’s team won the Under 10 Titans Shield Cup and also won the Under 11 Conference One Premiership in 2013.
Unfortunately, Cooper took a fall in August 2013 and was diagnosed with an Osteo Condral defect (old knee fracture that didn't heal properly).
Cooper had surgery on November 28, 2013 hoping this would allow him to play his favourite sport of rugby league.
However, eight weeks after surgery Cooper’s leg went out from under him and he has since been diagnosed with a degenerative disease called Ligamentus Laxity.
Now after a couple of light falls Cooper has fully ruptured his PCL (Posterior Crucial Ligament) which itself is a rare injury, let alone for a child of his age.
Cooper also has a torn Lateral Meniscus and issues with his Lateral Corner and Rotator.
Cooper has been off his feet for over five long months and was expected to remain in a full leg brace until he is 16 as surgery for his PCL would damage his growth plate.
Fortunately a new surgeon is prepared to try a rare surgery on his PCL in mid-June that will hopefully allow Cooper to walk again.
Cooper’s mother Mel Silver contacted Gold Coast Rugby League in the hope of her son regaining his love for the game.
“Rugby league is the only sport Coop has ever been interested in, he never had many toys as he only ever wanted footies,” she said.
“Coop was so upset with his diagnosis he didn't want to watch rugby league anymore because it just made him sad.”
But the opportunity to meet the players and receive some special presents meant the world to her son, Mel said.
“Meeting the Titans on Tuesday and receiving his gifts was just amazing to Coop,” she said.
“He was especially impressed to meet his favourite Titans player David Mead.”
Gold Coast Rugby League Business Development Officer Ty Chapman said hard work from the Helping Hands fund meant opportunities like this can come to reality.
“The Helping Hands fund was designed to support player like Cooper who fall on hard times,” he said.
“There is a strong community spirit within rugby league on the Gold Coast and sometimes we need a helping hand to get through the hard times.”
The Gold Coast Rugby League Helping Hands Fund is a joint initiative of the junior and senior bodies of Rugby League on the Gold Coast.
The fund aims to raise money for Rugby League players and volunteer members in need of a helping hand.