Jacob Bredenhof has been showing a lot of strength and maturity as he undergoes treatment for an aggressive form of cancer — the same type that took Terry Fox’s life nearly 40 years ago. Tracey Bredenhof/Submitted photo

Abbotsford family doing Terry Fox Run for son ahead of amputation

Jacob Bredenhof has done 6 rounds of chemo after osteosarcoma diagnosis — same cancer Terry Fox had

Jacob Bredenhof, an all-star basketball player in his elementary school, was supposed to be going into high school this year.

Instead, he’s in the B.C. Children’s Hospital, recovering from his sixth round of chemotherapy and expected to undergo surgery to amputate part of his leg as part of a complicated procedure early next month.

Jacob was able to speak to The News briefly over the phone, and his diminished strength was apparent. His mother, Tracey, called him “a man of few words” during chemo, but he was able to say that he was looking forward to recovering and that he was doing all right.

RELATED: Three routes offered at Terry Fox Run in Abbotsford

Jacob’s family will be doing this year’s local Terry Fox Run in the 13-year-old boy’s name after he was diagnosed this spring with osteosarcoma, the same type of cancer that Fox faced nearly 40 years ago. With a goal of raising $5,000 for sarcoma and pediatric cancers, the Bredenhofs’ team has already tallied $7,000.

Jacob first complained of knee pain in April this year, according to Tracey, who said Jacob’s doctor initially diagnosed it as a sports injury in early May. But a few weeks later, she said the family noticed a hard mass just above his knee, taking them on a painful journey.

“When I felt the mass, I knew something serious was happening, because it wasn’t like your typical inflammation. It was rock hard,” Tracey said in a phone interview from the hospital.

RELATED: Terry Fox Run 2017 photos

They took Jacob back to the doctor, and got some blood work and X-rays done, but “I could just tell in [the doctor’s] eyes and hear in his voice that it was bad,” Tracey said.

Four hours later, she got a call from the doctor’s office telling her she needed to come back to the doctor’s office immediately and suggested she bring her husband along.

“Instantly, it was like you’re hit by a truck.”

The chemo helps to keep the cancer from spreading, but to actually get rid of the aggressive cancer a rare surgery — called a rotationplasty — will be required.

RELATED: Chilliwack Terry Fox Run co-ordinator laments theft of banner

That surgery involves removing Jacob’s knee and a large part of his femur, and attaching his calf muscle to the remaining femur. In the process, his foot will be turned around to face backwards, with the ankle ultimately act as a knee for a partial prosthetic leg and foot.

“Part of this will be to get some awareness out there about this surgery, because it looks fairly bizarre,” Tracey said.

Despite that, though, the surgery offers the best chance of Jacob staying active, with the other alternative leaving him with metal joints rather than the natural ankle joint.

Tracey said Jacob intends to get back into basketball when he recovers — which will likely take around a year, as the tibia fuses to his femur. All the while, Jacob will undergo another 12 rounds of chemotherapy, slowing down the healing process.

“He’s been really brave through all this. He’s actually never complained once about anything. He’s never been angry; he’s just accepted it,” Tracey said.

“He’s a pretty strong kid. He’s 13, but quite mature for his age. We’re just trying to get through this round of chemo, and then we’ll have to really start processing the amputation … Every round [of chemo] seems to bring new challenges.”

During Jacob’s stay at the hospital, Tracey said she’s seen unwavering support from family and friends, between Jacob’s grandparents taking care of his siblings much of the summer and the money raised for their Terry Fox Run team.

“We are thrilled with the response, so far. Just our community support, our church support has been amazing and overwhelming. There’s a lot of people behind this. … There hasn’t been a day where we’ve felt alone,” Tracey said.

“I think I’ve only cooked a couple meals myself in the last couple months, so the meals keep coming in.”

At the Terry Fox Run, Tracey said the family will be wearing shirts with colours to support sarcoma and pediatric cancers, with the words “Jacob’s team” on them. To support the team, go to their page on the Terry Fox Run website or check out their Facebook page.

Report an error or send us your tips, photos and video.

Dustin Godfrey | Reporter

@dustinrgodfrey

Send Dustin an email.
Like the Abbotsford News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Abbotsford murder victim identified as Jagvir Malhi

Police say killing linked to Lower Mainland gang conflict

$7.4 million in funding for seniors’ housing in Mission

Province announced today that it will provide funding for 74 new housing units for local seniors

UPDATE: Man, 19, dies in shooting on Ross Road in Abbotsford

Victim was airlifted to hospital Monday afternoon, but died shortly afterwards

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

PHOTOS: Remembrance Day ceremonies in Mission

The event began with a parade, followed by a ceremony at the Clarke Theatre and then at the Cenotaph

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Most Read