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.
Cooper visited the iSelect Gold Coast Titans headquarters to meet his NRL heroes and to receive gift packs donated by the Helping Hands fund and the Titans.
Cooper is nicknamed the ‘Magnet’ for his ability to read play and attract the ball. In 2012 his team won the under-10s Titans Shield and also won the under-11s conference one premiership in 2013.
Unfortunately, Cooper took a fall in August 2013 and was diagnosed with an Osteo Condral Defect (basically a fracture that didn't heal properly). Cooper had surgery in November 2013 hoping it would allow him to play league again. However, eight weeks after surgery Cooper’s leg went from under him and has since been diagnosed with a degenerative disease called Ligamentus Laxity.
After a couple of light falls Cooper ruptured his PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) and torn a lateral meniscus and has issues with his lateral corner and rotator. He has been off his feet for over five and it expected to remain in a brace until he is 16 as usually surgery on the PCL would damage the growth plate in someone so young. However, a surgeon is prepared to try a rare surgery in mid-June that will hopefully allow Cooper to walk again.
Cooper’s mother Mel Silver contacted Gold Coast Rugby League for assistance.
“Rugby League is the only sport Coop has ever been interested in; he never had many toys as he only ever wanted footy,” she said. “Coop was so upset with his diagnosis he didn't want to watch rugby league anymore because it just made him sad.
“Meeting the Titans boys and receiving his gifts was just amazing; he was especially impressed to meet his favourite Titans player, David Mead.”
Gold Coast Rugby League business development officer Ty Chapman said: “The Helping Hands fund was designed to support players like Cooper who fall on hard times. 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 players and volunteer members in need of a helping hand.