30 DAYS/30 STORIES® 2021
Hi, my name is Cam. I am 9 years old. I was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma when I was six years old. I was getting ready to go to first grade at St. Isidore’s but right before school started, I had to go to “big” Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to get a lump removed from my leg. I named the lump “Sparky”. My surgery went well, and I got to go to Yogurt Tree that night for being brave. A few days later, my mom came home from work and was really upset. I remember being really scared. My Mom and Dad sat Caidyn, Cavin, and myself down and told us that Sparky was bad and that we had to go see more doctors down at CHOP on Monday. I learned that Monday at CHOP that Sparky was cancer. All of the nurses, doctors, and child life specialists were really nice. They kept giving me ice cream and other treats while I was there. They explained to me what was going to happen to me and that I needed to have another surgery and would have to stay in the hospital to get chemo to make sure that Sparky would go away for good. I was nervous but wanted to be brave for my parents. Instead of starting 1st grade, I was going to start chemo. I was upset that I couldn’t go back to school with my friends; I couldn’t play baseball or wrestle. Instead, I was stuck going to lots of doctor appointments and the hospital. I met with my teacher at home when I felt well enough.
My chemo treatment for Ewing sarcoma alternated between a two-day chemo and a five-day chemo. I had to stay in the hospital the first time I received them to make sure that I didn’t have a bad reaction. I did not like having to stay in the hospital, and the chemo made me feel really sick. My mom told me that she found an organization that helped kids with cancer and that they were having this fun party at Dorney Park if I felt well enough to go after I got out of the hospital from my 5-day stay. I was so excited to go to Dorney Park! I loved roller coasters! This was the first time that we met Miss Michelle, Miss Kris, and Miss Tracy from the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of Lehigh Valley (PCFLV). My family and I had such a great time and were able to take a break from worrying about me and cancer for a few hours.
I continued treatments for 9 months. I struggled with having the wound on my leg heal and had to stay in the hospital a few times because it got infected. I was able to complete my two-day and five-day chemos as an outpatient at CHOP in King of Prussia. I would come home with a backpack filled with IV fluids that my mom would change during the night. This allowed me to be at home instead of stuck in the hospital and listening to helicopters all night long. I was so happy that this was an option for me and that my parents were willing to drive every day back and forth to CHOP.
PCFLV did so much to help our family when I was sick. They would send us meal cards when we were in CHOP. They gave us gas and grocery cards. They gave our family gift cards for Christmas presents and birthdays. We were able to do some really fun things like go to Disney on Ice and Phantom’s games. I was even able to ride the PEEP Zamboni. Each of these things meant so much to our family during a really scary time. It was nice to know that we were loved and supported by a whole community of people who understood what we were going through.
I am two years cancer free now. I am back to playing baseball and back at school. My family and I try to help PCFLV and other organizations that helped us when I was sick by holding fundraisers. My siblings and I also create artwork to be auctioned off during the Hearts of Gold gala. I am so very lucky that the doctors at CHOP caught my cancer early, and I am able to be a kid again. One day I would like to be a doctor so that I can help other kids who are sick with cancer.
Written by Cam and his mom, Kristina
Please consider donating in Cam’s honor to support PCFLV's mission.
Please also consider helping local kids with cancer by donating blood at Miller-Keystone Blood Center:
Photography by Matthew Cannon