A Special Boy Taken Too Soon
Suzie James lost her son Cameron to cancer in 2005. He had been diagnosed with glioblastoma 20 months earlier at Texas Children’s Cancer Center; Cameron’s cancer was a rare and largely untreatable brain tumor.
(2006) – Even in his darkest hours, Cameron always had a smile on his face and a sparkle in his eye—he defined the term “happy.” His positive demeanor won him many of friends at Texas Children’s Hospital early and easily.
Cameron had a personality like no other boy, so naturally his favorite hobby was pulling practical jokes on unsuspecting staff and patients in the hospital.
Cameron won the dubious distinction of resident comedian on the Cancer Center floor thanks to his hilarious pranks and silly string wars.
“Cameron loved to be funny. He could hardly wait to spray his doctors and nurses with that silly string, and I won’t even go into what he did one time with apple juice and a plastic cup,” James giggled.
“Cameron loved being at Texas Children’s because he made so many friends and was able to participate in so many fun things during his stay,” said Suzie.
“As a parent, I knew that Texas Children’s was also providing the very best treatment for my son.”
At just 8-years-old, Cameron and his family were forced to face the reality of childhood cancer, which is the leading cause of non-accidental death in children. While the overall survival rate for children with cancer is more than 75 percent, only half of all children diagnosed with a brain tumor will survive.
Despite brain surgery, several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, Cameron passed away just over a year and a half after he was first diagnosed.
“I just want everyone and every parent to know that a lot of kids do survive childhood cancer, but some kids—like my son Cameron—don’t make it. We must find a cure for this awful disease that is taking our children away from us way too soon,” she said.
Today, James and her family make frequent trips to Texas Children’s to help other families coping with cancer. “Nobody is alone in their fight or their grief. It’s important for all of us to come to together,” she said. “I know that Cameron would want us to do that.”