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Emotional Bradley Cooper gives speech about dad's death

Published 15/04/2016

Bradley Cooper
Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper was overcome with emotion as he spoke about his father's death on Wednesday night (13Apr16), revealing his treatment for lung cancer was "overwhelming, stressful and all consuming".

Bradley Cooper struggled to control his emotions as he recalled his father's battle with cancer in an emotional speech.

The 41-year-old actor was just one of the stars at the Parker Foundation's launch of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, hosted at founder Sean Parker's home in Los Angeles on Wednesday night (13Apr16).

Bradley took to the stage at the gala in front of fellow stars including Katy Perry and beau Orlando Bloom, John Legend and Sean Penn to speak about his hopes for the foundation going forward.

And his father Charles, who died in 2011 after battling lung cancer, took centre stage in his speech.

"I just want to tell you about my father Charles J. Cooper, he passed away from lung cancer in 2011," Bradley said. "I was in a very lucky position because I was able to put everything on hold in all aspects of my life and completely focus on taking care of him."

Despite his fame and fortune, Bradley admitted the resources at his disposal didn't stop the treatment for his father's cancer being "just simply overwhelming, incredibly stressful, complex and all consuming."

He added: "I can't even imagine how much more difficult it is for those patients and the families that are less fortunate than I was that simply can't afford to pay for both treatment and rent."

Bradley and Sean are now planning to launch a new initiative in the next few months to help families struggling to pay for the treatments. And it's something the actor feels very strongly about.

"My hope is that one day every person fighting cancer will receive the full support they need to maintain their quality of life from the day of diagnosis to the end of their treatment regardless of economic or social status," he said.

Bradley continued in his speech to reference the case of Emily Whitehead, who was just five years old when she was diagnosed with leukaemia.

After doctors tried various treatments with no success, her parents decided to enrol Emily in one of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's experimental treatment programs.

She has now been in remission since 2012, and Bradley praised her bravery in going forward with a treatment that had never previously been tested on a child.

"She was so brave to take this risk and in the years to come it is with the Parker Institute wants to offer every patient and their family more chances to try ground breaking treatments that will help them live a full and healthy life like Emily," Bradley concluded.

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