“This Is Why I’m In There”: Wippa’s Friend Cooper Was 17 When He Received a Rare Diagnosis


NOVA radio star, Michael “Wippa” Wipfli has only one young man on his mind during his appearance on Celebrity Apprentice Australia 2021 — Cooper Rice-Brading.

Cooper was 17-years-old when he was diagnosed with rare cancer, sarcoma — a rare and complex cancer of the bone, cartilage or soft tissues such as fat, muscle, connective tissue or blood vessels

Only two weeks after his seventeenth birthday, the teen was injured while playing cricket, and an incidental find revealed the disease.

“It’s a very, very rare cancer which is why we’re raising awareness and you often find out you have it through some sort of sporting injury,” Wippa said during an interview with 9Honey in 2019. “It’s a horrible thing.”

Cooper endured 40 weeks of gruelling treatment and multiple surgeries. While he was supremely fit, he experienced a severe decline and became permanently assisted by oxygen before his death in August 2017.

According to the radio host, Wippa met Cooper when he came to the radio station after he had been diagnosed and the pair kept in touch. Following this meeting, Wippa hosted a fundraiser for Cooper’s family charity, the Cooper Rice-Brading Foundation (CRBF) — the charity he is now raising money for on Celebrity Apprentice.

“He was the greatest campaigner the charity could have or the condition or disease could have because of how brave he was. They were some fun times, tougher times as well,” he said at the time. “It’s a horrible thing because often in times of tragedy you hear it said to go home and hug your family, and you do, you have to, because the moment is special, very special.”

During an interview with Ally Langdon and Richard Wilkins on TODAY Extra back in September 2020, the father-of-three said he joined the show because he liked “the idea of it” and to raise much-needed funds for the CRBF.

“Coops and I were really, really close and he lost his battle a couple of years ago osteosarcoma which is a young person’s bone cancer. There are a lot of sufferers out there. It’s a very rare disease. It’s a very complicated disease as well. The awareness and the money, I truly mean it when I say, this is why I am in there.”

Courtesy of Channel 9.

For more information on Cooper and the Cooper Rice Brading Foundation, head to their website.

Celebrity Apprentice Australia will air on Channel Nine and 9Now from Sunday to Tuesday.

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