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Watching cancer victim (9) suffer were 'hardest and most painful months of my life'

By Andrew Dixon

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Arden and Frodi Tuerlinckx.
Arden and Frodi Tuerlinckx.

An Inverness teenager is running the Cape Wrath Trail this week in memory of her little brother – and to raise vital funding for cancer research.

Arden Tuerlinckx says running has been important in helping her cope with the loss of Frodi, who died after an 18-month battle with bone cancer.

The 17-year-old is part way through her challenge and has already raised more than £3600 for Bone Cancer Research Trust.

Her target is £4000 as the 230-mile route takes her from Cape Wrath to Fort William. If all goes well, she will complete the feat this Saturday.

Arden and Frodi Tuerlinckx.
Arden and Frodi Tuerlinckx.

Frodi (9), who was in P6 at Balloch Primary, was described as amazing by his sister, who has just finished S6 at Culloden Academy.

"Seeing Frodi struggle through first his diagnosis, and then the brutal treatments involving lots of chemotherapy, a rotationplasty amputation and several collapsed lungs, and then finally losing him in October, have been the hardest and most painful months of my life," Arden said.

"We have always had an extremely strong bond and he was my best friend as well as brother – we lost our dad when he was a baby.

"He was an uncommonly kind boy, up until the end still pulling funny faces and making us laugh.

Arden and Frodi Tuerlinckx.
Arden and Frodi Tuerlinckx.

"Running has been important in helping me cope with seeing my cheerful, happy-go-lucky little brother struggle with chemo, when I was separated from him and our mum for eight months during his treatment in Glasgow, and then after he passed away in October, and I’m sure this journey will help me too.

"I am doing this run to raise vital funds needed to help improve the brutal and often ineffective treatments."

Arden has set up a social media profile for her challenge adding: "If anyone would like to run any section of the trail, of any length, with me please get in touch and we’ll see what we can arrange."

Frodi and Arden’s mum Kune said money was needed for investment in specific research relating to bone cancer.

She explained Frodi spent eight months away from home to receive chemotherapy because the treatment hospital was too far away to allow regular travel.

Frodi Tuerlinckx.
Frodi Tuerlinckx.

He had numerous X-rays and CT-scans, blood tests, a blood transfusion and other test and tried two other cancer drugs, including one to prevent lung tumours but it did not work and he died of the cancer growing in his lungs.

She said: "In May 2021, Frodi noticed a little bump under his knee, we didn’t think it was serious at the time but he was soon diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

"We were sent to Glasgow for treatment, far away from our family and home. He had no metastasis on diagnosis but his tumour kept growing fast through his chemotherapy treatment, so the planned rotationplasty amputation was brought forward.

"In October [2021], Frodi had a collapsed lung and by December his lung collapsed again, he had a CT scan which revealed many little tumours in his lungs.

"He was given a different chemotherapy treatment for two months, but the lung tumours kept growing. In February [2022], we came back home and he started taking a cancer growth blocker which kept his tumours stable for a while. After a few months this treatment stopped working."

She added: "Having been through bone cancer treatment with Frodi, we stepped into the world of paediatric cancer and we ended up losing him.

"No family should have to go through this, not when we live in a world where science is able to push progress and develop more effective and kinder treatments."

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