When Cameron began experiencing shoulder and arm pain, it could have been easily attributed to being an active kid. But when it quickly worsened, his family knew something was wrong and took him to Atrium Health Levine Children’s Urgent Care in Monroe, then to Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital for further testing. After blood work, an MRI, and other tests, Cameron’s family was shocked to learn he had acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a rare, fast-growing cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. 

Once he was officially diagnosed, they wasted no time starting treatment,” said Cameron’s mother, Carrie. “It was all very overwhelming because we were still trying to process what was going on. Cameron had gone to Levine Children’s Hospital on December 20, 2023, and did not get to go back home until January 15. We spent Christmas in the hospital. That was devastating for a 10-year-old boy, as well as for us, having to see him spend Christmas there.”

While no child wants to spend the holidays in the hospital, Cameron quickly made friendships with his nurses, Child Life specialists, and other members of his care team on the 11th floor. One person in particular, nurse Abby, took time to make Cameron feel comfortable with his care plan and stayed in his room after her shift to play a game of UNO. He also enjoyed playing Bingo inside Seacrest Studios and visiting Levine Children’s facility-dog Sprout.

Cameron playing UNO with his nurses, Abby and Amy.

Over the next five months, Cameron spent 72 days at Levine Children’s Hospital, completing four rounds of chemotherapy treatment.

“There were countless blood and platelet transfusions, and countless doses of preventative antibiotics and meds,” said Carrie. “While the first round was obviously the most difficult emotionally and physically, Cameron remained positive throughout this journey. His positivity truly got us through it!”

On June 10, Cameron rang the end-of-treatment bell to celebrate his cancer remission. His parents, grandparents, and care team were there to support his milestone with custom “Cameron’s Club” t-shirts. As he begins his next chapter of healing, Cameron is excited to be a special guest at the 14th Annual Keep Pounding 5K on June 22.

When asked what ‘Keep Pounding’ means to him, Cameron said, “It means never to give up, no matter how hard things get. It means to KICK cancer’s butt!”