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TR Press UK - 13-07-2016
Morten is along for the ride – all the way to Paris
Jane Mølgaard Christensen lost her youngest son Morten to cancer at just six years of age. Now she's cycling to Paris to help other children with cancer.
Stage 4, Mari: On the top tube of Jane Mølgaard Christensen's yellow Team Rynkeby racer is a picture of her youngest son, Morten, who is smiling up at her.
The picture is a heart-rending reminder of why she and 1,500 other yellow-clad Team Rynkeby riders are currently cycling to Paris.
Jane Mølgaard Christensen's son died of cancer on 28 June 2007 – at just six years of age.
"It means a lot to me that he is there, looking up at me. "When there's a crisis, I know that he's taking care of me – and it reminds me of what we are cycling for," she says, continuing:
"The closer we get to the finish line, I can feel that I'm thinking more about the purpose of the Tour de Paris. "And I'm a little apprehensive about the arrival in Paris – I think it will be very tough from an emotional standpoint," says Jane Mølgaard Christensen.
Began feeling ill
Morten's cancer was discovered in February 2007.
He suddenly began feeling ill. He had a few chest and throat infections, as well as a sinus infection.
"At that point I knew that something was terribly wrong. "So I asked a doctor to give him a thorough examination and do everything to find out what was making Morten so ill," says Jane Mølgaard Christensen, who together with husband Lars also has two older children.
"A blood test revealed that Morten's white blood cell count was too high, and he was sent for examination at Esbjerg Hospital, where the doctors first thought that it was just a middle ear infection.
But on the way home in the car, the hospital called. They wanted the family to turn around and return immediately. The doctors feared that Morten had cancer.
"Our world completely fell apart," says Jane Mølgaard Christensen.
Big sister donated bone marrow
Morten's treatment began immediately, and three days later he was admitted to Odense University Hospital.
Later, at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, the family would learn that the only thing that could save Morten's life was a bone marrow transplant – Morten's big sister Helene, who at the time was 12 years old, turned out to be the perfect donor.
"She didn't hesitate for a single second – she wanted to do anything she could to save her little brother," explains Jane Mølgaard Christensen.
Morten responded well after the transplant, and he was showing good progress. But on the tenth day after the procedure, Morten suddenly began to feel ill. And four hours after the doctors declared the situation to be serious, he passed away.
Morten was just six years old.
Wanting to make a difference
On Team Rynkeby, Jane Mølgaard Christensen gets the chance to work through her sorrow at the loss of her son – while also giving something back to the Children's Cancer Foundation.
"When you've been in the children's cancer unit and have seen all the sick children and their families, you feel a deep need to do something. "I hope that my participation on Team Rynkeby can help to make a difference," she explains.
Team Rynkeby's annual charity cycling tour concludes in Paris on Saturday, where up to 5,000 people are expected to welcome the Team Rynkeby caravan – including Jane Mølgaard Christensen's husband and children.
Follow the rest of Team Rynkeby's Tour De Paris on www.team-rynkeby.com/live.
The news you have just read was translated by Amesto Translations A/S.