We have lost a piece of our heart, say family of boy (13) killed by rare brain cancer
The family of a teenager who has passed away after a long battle with cancer have spoken of their devastation at his death.
Cameron Truesdale (13), from Waringstown in Co Down, died on Wednesday surrounded by his family.
He had been battling a brain tumour since January last year, and doctors had told his family it was inoperable.
Cameron's family posted a tribute on their Cure4cam Facebook page.
"Wednesday evening, a piece of our heart was taken and carried to heaven," they wrote.
"Cameron passed away surrounded by his family. He fought with all his might for 20 months after we were given nine months. He did this with more courage and strength than we will ever know.
"To the best son, stepson, brother, grandchild and friend, we will miss you more than anything, but now you are free from cancer and you can rest.
"We will carry you in our hearts for ever.
"We would appreciate everyone's prayers while we try to cope with the searing pains in our hearts."
Cameron suffered from diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, also known as DIPG. It affects just 30 to 40 children a year in the UK, and Cameron was the only child with the disorder in Northern Ireland. Last year he was brought to Mexico to take part in an experimental clinical trial, with his family raising the £300,000 needed for the full 10 months of treatment. A series of groups came together to help come up with the money for Cameron's treatment.
In May, 17 members of Banbridge LOL20 took part in a four-day, 90 mile trek along the Western Front to remember the fallen from the First World War and raise money for Cameron and the children's cancer unit in Belfast.
Northern Ireland snooker star Mark Allen met Cameron after his Masters win and presented him with a cheque towards his treatment.
The Banbridge-based Downshire Guiding Star Flute Band said the band would not parade this weekend as a mark of respect.
"Cameron was an exceptional boy who put up an unbelievable fight against a terrible disease that originally gave him only nine months to live," a band spokesperson said.
"He fought on for 20 months which shows the strength and courage of the boy and also the length and breadth his family went to get him the help he needed while constantly supporting him and his needs.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Cameron's entire family circle at this difficult time, especially his dad Hammy."