Mum becomes nurse after son loses battle with brain cancer
AS AMANDA Christensen watched her terminally-ill son Cooper's health deteriorate, nurses were there by her family's side.
Four years after Cooper's death, she has become a nurse herself and now works at the same hospital that cared for her boy.
Hervey Bay's Cooper Christensen was six when he lost his battle with brain cancer.
His tragic passing motivated Mrs Christensen to become qualified in the health industry.
She graduated from TAFE Queensland last year with a Diploma of Nursing and started working as an enrolled nurse in Hervey Bay Hospital's surgical ward in January.
The job involves her providing support to surgical patients.
She says Cooper, who is her biggest inspiration, would be proud.
"Every day when I'm at work, Cooper is never far from my mind, so I take what I do very seriously and I want to give it my everything," Mrs Christensen said.
"As a nurse, when you're working and you show compassion you don't think anything of it, but patients and their families are so appreciative and it makes you realise you are making a difference.
"They won't remember my name, but they'll remember I cared, and that makes it all worthwhile."
She recalls nurses showing her family compassion and empathy during their dark days. Mrs Christensen had to work through her grief and self-doubt to complete her diploma.
But determination and remembering Cooper's mantra of "Never, ever give up" pushed her on.
She has also helped raise more than $47,000 in the last three years for the Cure for Brain Cancer Foundation.
The fundraising efforts are maximised by the annual Walk4BrainCancer - Cooper's Walk, held in Hervey Bay.
While her long term goal is to work in either a children's ward or oncology, she is currently focusing on improving her skills.
To donate towards finding a cure for brain cancer, visit the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation website at curebraincancer.org.au.