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Molly’s Kids... Cooper Burrell

Molly’s Kids... Cooper Burrell
Molly’s Kids... Cooper Burrell(WBTV)
Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 9:29 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - If you read the post last night about 20-month-old Hunter Ballard from Gaston County currently in Memphis at St. Jude getting treatment… now read this one about 15-year-old Cooper Burrell from Clover, South Carolina. He’s also currently in Memphis at St. Jude getting treatment.

Wonder if these two Carolina families there have met in the hallways there in Tennessee?

Cooper’s mom, Tracey, is really good about updating us on Cooper’s situation. As we said when we introduced him in January as one of our amazing #MollysKids, Tracey is an ER nurse by trade. She never thought she’d be using her professional experience to help her own son battle a rare cancer.

Molly’s Kids... Cooper Burrell
Molly’s Kids... Cooper Burrell(Family photo)

“Cooper got through three involved surgeries in the beginning of March,” Tracey said. “During the second surgery, he had a small stroke on his cord, which caused numbness on the left side of his body. (He is left-hand dominant.)”

The name of Cooper’s cancer? SMARC B1 deficient, poorly-differentiated chordoma. Listed at Stage 3.

Said simply, that’s an aggressive subtype of head and neck cancer.

Molly’s Kids... Cooper Burrell
Molly’s Kids... Cooper Burrell(Family photo)

Cooper is doing tons to fight back.

“Doctors fused his spine from the base of his skull to the C4 vertebrae,” Tracey said. “But they only had to remove most of C2 and a small amount of C3. That’s not as much as his father, Robert, and I feared. The third surgery took longer than we thought, but they were able to remove all of the tumor from the side of his neck so he didn’t require a nasogastric tube. We were also very happy about that news.”

After those surgeries, this 10th grader at Clover High School spent ten days in the PICU and then was moved to a regular room.

“He had a painful and slow recovery after those surgeries,” Tracey said. “But he got stronger by the day. He is now eating solid foods and has physical therapy and almost regained full strength on his left side. He has gone through lab work, MRI’s, CT scans, PET scans, radiation oncologist meetings… and he started proton radiation last Monday.”

Tracey says she thinks they’ll be in Memphis for eight weeks total. Six more left.

Maybe this is odd to say, but let me know, Tracey, if you’d like to meet up with Hunter’s family, another one of our #MollysKids at St. Jude. It’s a beautiful and large facility... but we’d be happy to connect you guys.

Hang in there, Cooper. Going to put some other photos of you below from with hair. We showed them in past posts, and they’re worth showing again.

-Molly

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Past posts on Cooper >>

Jan 25th, 2021: http://tinyurl.com/CooperMKs

Feb 12th, 2021: https://tinyurl.com/Cooper2MKs

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