HAPPIER TIMES: Michelle, Peter, Mark and Carla Troon celebrating Mark's 13th birthday, 28 years ago.
HAPPIER TIMES: Michelle, Peter, Mark and Carla Troon celebrating Mark's 13th birthday, 28 years ago. Carla Troon

Family rocked by twin tragedies, still have energy to give

WITHIN six months Warwick's Troon family has been hit by two unimaginable tragedies.

In March 2016 Peter Troon was diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma, exactly six months after he and wife Michelle lost their son, Mark Newton-Troon, to suicide.

Today would have been his 41st birthday.

Mark's sister Carla said her parents had been doing it tough since the death and diagnosis and, in October last year, moved temporarily from their Warwick home to the Clem Jones Sunland Village, in Brisbane, so Peter could receive stem cell treatment.

"He underwent a round of chemotherapy in Toowoomba," Carla said.

"They were driving back and forward from Warwick to Toowoomba and, after eight rounds, a new tumour grew so the next treatment was stem cell transplant.

"That meant they've had to come to Brisbane and stay here."

It was there Carla saw the incredible work of the Leukaemia Foundation, which uses funds for volunteer drivers, in-house staff and free accommodation for those undergoing treatment.

"They're absolutely wonderful," she said.

"That's where I'll be doing the World's Greatest Shave on March 16."

The mother of three hopes to raise $4000 by shaving her head with her mum, dad, three children and husband Adrian Twidale by her side.

"What Dad has been going through, and seeing it first hand, I wanted to do this for him," she said.

"The family has been going through a lot in the last 18 months and this is important to me."

For Michelle Troon, learning her daughter would cut off her hair for charity, was a moment of pride.

"We're very, very proud of her, and it's a big thing for her to do," she said.

"Every couple of years she does a big fundraiser for cancer, so she's always wonderful at giving."

Indeed, Carla hosts a biannual Biggest Morning Tea and has raised thousands of dollars for the Cancer Council.

As for Mr Troon, yesterday was his last day of chemo week.

"After this week there should only be one more round of chemo to go and then they can do his stem cell transplant, all going well," Carla said.

"All his tests until last week showed no response, then we got good news about the tumours - they're shrinking."

Donate at my.leukaemia foundation.org.au/carlatroon

For confidential crisis support, phone Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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