Some Thoughts from Cameron’s Mom
11/11/11 will be forever etched in our memory. Yes, it’s a really cool number, but this weekend, 11/11 will mark 7 years since Cameron’s diagnosis with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. In one day, one hour, one minute…one second…his life and the lives of those around him changed forever.
For the next 6 months, Cameron would be poked, probed, scanned, and pierced. He would have things put into his body (i.e., needles, fluids, chemicals, blood products) and things removed (i.e., hair, blood, bone marrow). His immune system was wiped out on more than one occasion in an attempt to get rid of the leukemia cells. He would spend every holiday for the next 200 days, including his 14th birthday, hooked up to an IV getting chemotherapy, all but 2 in a hospital bed, 3 of them in an ICU. He spent Christmas and New Years at home (yea!) with yet another nurse at his bedside administering his treatment and monitoring his response. His major organs took an assault from his cancer and his treatment…first challenged, then destroyed.
Maybe it’s serendipitous that Cameron’s journey with cancer began in the same month we stop to reflect and be thankful for the people and gifts in our lives. With the passing of every year we can’t help remember this date, but we also, in this difficult world, can feel the love surround us.
We are thankful for family and friends who stood, and still stand, by our side, and for strangers (new friends) who reached out to Cameron and our family in our time of need. We are thankful for the researchers and cancer patients who underwent clinical trials to develop the treatments that were available to him at that time. We are thankful for the nurses, doctors, therapists, technicians, and other medical staff that helped us care for Cameron day and night.
We are thankful for the person who emptied his trashcan and mopped the floor in his hospital room. We are thankful for the person who brought him his meal trays and for the person who pushed him in a wheelchair or stretcher through the halls… and for the person who was thoughtful enough to hold the elevator so they could get him where he needed to go. We are thankful for the dignity and respect they all gave him and for their attempt to help him still be a teenager while faced with a situation even adults find difficult. And we are thankful for the faith that assures us we will be together again someday.
We are thankful for all of you who in some way support Cure4Cam. We have made it our mission, despite having to say goodbye to our beloved Cameron, to try to make a difference in the lives of other children, other families, met with a childhood cancer diagnosis. With your help, to date we have granted over one million dollars to researchers all over the country who are working on developing solutions to this consistently increasing childhood cancer problem.
Thanks to a wonderful partnership with our Downingtown West Cross Country team family, the Chester County Turkey Trot is the next big fundraiser benefitting Cure4Cam (https://runsignup.com/DtownTrot). For runners and walkers of all ages and abilities, this Thanksgiving morning event is not only fun but gathers people together and inspires us to continue, as many of the participants will do at that race, to take on challenges in our daily lives. A virtual race option and general donation page allow everyone to participate no matter your athletic ability, location, or Thanksgiving cooking situation! Take a look at the sponsors listed on the registration page or the Cure4Cam website. They have all committed to helping support our mission of funding less toxic, more humane therapies for children with cancer diagnoses. In addition to these generous sponsorships, please note that 100% of YOUR generous donations will go directly through Cure4Cam to fund childhood cancer research. We are thankful for your help, for, without that, Cure4Cam cannot make an impact.
Finally, here’s something just to think about, not just today or for the month of November, but every day… what are YOU thankful for?