(Chelsea and Cami)
Childhood cancer is so near and dear to my heart. It is something I experienced and lived through in my own life. On Saturday, July 10th 2010 my 4 year old daughter, Cami was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (or ALL). That same day Cami was taken into surgery for a portacath placement, a spinal tap, bone marrow aspiration and her first chemotherapy all within 8 hours of her diagnosis. After a week in the hospital Cami was sent home with dozens of prescriptions, schedules, chemo dates and tubes hanging from her chest. You can read about Cami's diagnosis here.
Cami has always been a very vivacious, spunky girl. She has a great sense of humor and an optimistic zest for life that is contagious. Cami is extremly outgoing and easily makes friends wherever she goes. She is funny and has a great sense of humor, and even during the difficult times she always had a smile. She is beautiful and bright and everyone that meets her just seems to adore her! One of the drugs Cami was put on that first month changed EVERYTHING! Cami had to take steroids and thats when she went into zombie mode. She wasn't even the same little girl we once knew. She would just stare off into space, she was constantly hungry and craving random things (lots of cheese and pickles), and she was super grumpy (I mean non-stop tantrums, kicking and screaming). It was terrible. Throughout her treatment, Cami had to go on steroids once a month for 5 days and each and every month it was pure hell while she was on those steroids.
In the last two and a half years, Cami has lost her hair, been poked by thousands of needles, has learned the art of swallowing handfuls of pills each day and has had to live with the many side effects associated with her treatment. This courageous seven year old has been forced to grow up way too fast but handled this disease with strength and her normal positive attitude. Cami's treatment plan lasted approximately 2 years and 3 months and we are happy to report that she just finished treatment last month and is now CANCER FREE!! Cami captured the hearts of all her caregivers at Primary Children's Hospital along with countless others. She touched hearts daily as she fought her battle with a smile. We know Cami was picked by God to change peoples lives and that is exactly what she is doing!
(Little Miss Cami right after getting her final dose of chemotherapy last month)
Cami tells her story better than I do. Watch below to see what I mean.
Nobody ever wants to hear their child has cancer, but through this experience we have grown as a family, learned whats important in life and have become lifelong advocates of childhood cancer. We have met so many wonderful, beautiful people through our cancer journey. We love these families and unfortunately some of their stories didn't turn out as well as Cami's. My family and I are dedicated to support, help and give love to these families.
The Carver family at the 2011 CureSearch walk
Each of these kids has some form of cancer. Each of them have their own story and each of them DESERVE to be heard....
this is why we do what we do!
SLC Cancer kids group 2012