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

German-born British Columbian warns against a ‘yes’ vote on proportional representation

Agassiz realtor Freddy Marks says PR in his home country shows party elites can never be voted out

Highest earning staff at Fraser-Cascade School District made public

Also board looks into seat belts on school buses, Marv Cope gets road in his memory

Agassiz teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

AESS students say they had the experience of a life time

WATCH: Brother of missing Hope woman makes emotional appeal for more media attention

Next search for Shawnee Inyallie Nov. 18 along Highway 1 towards Boston Bar

Gas price drop expected to hit Fraser Valley today

Analyst says to take advantage, warns slight increase may follow

1st Indigenous woman to start Canadian airline looks to B.C.’s remote regions

Teara Fraser is the first Indigenous woman in Canada to start her own airline, called Iskwew Air

UPDATE: Death of 38-year-old Fernie man at B.C. coal mine under investigation

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. Sunday morning

Breathing polluted air during pregnancy may increase odds of baby having autism: SFU study

Study looked at nearly all births in Metro Vancouver between 2004 and 2009

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

5 to start your day

B.C. cracks down on ‘dirty money,’ homicide detectives investigate Maple Ridge death and more

Bankruptcies in British Columbia on the rise

Consumer bankruptcies climbed by 6. 1 per cent in August 2018 from the same month last year.

22 public toilets in Victoria: 136 people currently peeing

World Toilet Day floats some serious health issues

Calgary Stampeders back to Grey Cup with 22-14 win over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Calgary was favoured to win the 2017 and 2016 Grey Cups, but lost to the Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa Redblacks respectively.

‘A giant step forward’: new $10 bill featuring Viola Desmond to enter circulation

A new $10 banknote featuring Viola Desmond’s portrait will go into circulation, just over 72 years after she was ousted from the whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow, N.S.

Most Read