Cooper Matthew Richards will pull you in with his eyes and you will never be the same!
Cooper was born to Kelly and Michael Richards on July 12, 2013, a healthy, 8 pound baby boy, the youngest child and beautiful completion to the Richards Family. Cooper has two older brothers, Zachary and Max, and an older sister, Olivia.
As a baby, Cooper would light up any room. He has these magnetic, huge brown eyes and eyelashes that look beautifully false. He was doted on by not only Michael and Kelly but by his siblings too. So when he would be delayed in reaching developmental milestones, the family blamed themselves for doing everything for him. Intuition nagged at Kelly and Michael. They started with tremendous amounts of early intervention and a litany of therapies all in the hope of helping him progress ahead. They met with a host of medical specialist and lots of testing was performed.
On March 9, 2015, Kelly and Michael sat in stunned silence at the Genetic and Metabolism clinic inside Boston Children’s Hospital and were told that Cooper had a degenerative, life limiting, terminal, wretched, incurable disease called GM-1 Gangliosidosis. GM-1 is a Lysosomal Storage Disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord. It is progressive. The body eventually destroys itself.
To have a child with GM-1 is like cradling a baby made of sand. As time passes that beautiful child you have in your life begins to slowly fade through your fingers…like an hour glass. It never recovers. It just goes away.
Cooper Matthew Richards earned his angel wings on January 19, 2017. He passed away peacefully at home in the care of hospice, inside the warmth of his parent’s arms, surrounded by tremendous love and support. We believe Cooper walked, swam, skipped, jumped and maybe even danced his way into heaven; all the things he was never able to do on Earth.
Cooper’s fight against GM-1 was brave and courageous.
The family has found peace in the fact that Cooper went up to heaven without one sin, not one single unkind thought in his fragile body. He spoke mountains without ever having spoken a single word. All he knew was pure love and to love back. It doesn’t get better than that. They found collateral joy in such a heartbreaking situation.
There is a famous quote that goes, “Sometime, Superheroes reside in the hearts of small children, fighting big battles.” Cooper is and always will be our hero.
Following Cooper’s death, The Richards Family took on the new mantra of doing “Cooper Work.” In conjunction with the race planning, Kelly and Michael are creating a charitable foundation in Cooper’s name so that his legacy of love can continue on. The goal of the foundation will be to pay it forward to others because of the generosity given to Cooper and his family when they needed it. The foundation will set the ground work to do some amazing “Cooper Work.”
While they are operationally setting up the foundation, a portion of the proceeds from the race will be given to research and family support.
To learn more about GM-1, you can go to:
Join Cooper’s Facebook page- “Coop’s Troop,” to follow Cooper’s legacy and for more information on future events.