By Amy Wenk
Cancer is a difficult disease, especially for a teenager.
Diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma at age 12, Buckhead resident Cameron Street knows about the progression of cancer. Over the past two years, Cameron, now 14, has received numerous radiation treatments at the Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Hoping to encourage people to the donate to the center, which treats more than 325 new patients each year, Cameron participated in WSB-AM’s eighth annual Care-a-Thon.
By sharing his story as part of the radio fundraiser, which broadcast for 37 hours Aug. 21 and 22, Cameron assisted Children’s Healthcare in raising more than $1.2 million. The money will support the Aflac Cancer Center and Blood Disorders Service of the nonprofit hospital system, one of the largest childhood cancer and hematology programs in the country.
“You can’t ignore the voice of a child who could easily be a neighbor down the street or a classmate of your own child,” said Suzy Scheiblin, program coordinator of the Aflac Cancer Center. “Cameron’s upbeat spirit perfectly captures the Children’s mission to, above all, enhance the lives of children.”
Cameron, a freshman at The Lovett School, spoke about his diagnosis, treatment and recurrence.
“I sprained my ankle in basketball in sixth grade,” Cameron said. “It never got better. I kept going to school with crutches, a brace or a plastic cast.”
That is when Cameron and his family enlisted the help of Children’s Healthcare at Scottish Rite in Sandy Springs.
“It just hadn’t healed,” said his mother, Janet Street. “We went and got it X-rayed and found out there was something more going on.”
The biopsy revealed Cameron had Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare disease that affects about 250 children a year in the United States. He began chemotherapy right away, receiving four rounds before having an operation in which his anklebone was removed and replaced.
“I was really scared about the surgery,” Cameron said. “I didn’t really know what cancer was.”
After the operation, he was in a wheelchair for three months and had 10 more rounds of chemotherapy.
“It was really hard,” Janet said. “There were a lot of things about that time that were inconvenient.”
After finishing chemo in May 2007, Cameron went into remission. In January, however, he had a recurrence, which showed up in his lungs.
Once again, Cameron received radiation. Today, he drinks oral chemotherapy every day and will continue that treatment for the next two years.
Cameron said it was easy to share his experience during the Care-a-Thon.
“I’ve already shared it a ton of times, like at school,” he said.
He added it was a great opportunity to benefit a facility that has assisted his cancer treatment.
“It’s really nice,” Cameron said. “The doctors and nurses there are really great. They have a lot of places for younger kids where they can draw and play games.”
His mother added: “The Scottish Rite facility is just wonderful. They just make it as good as it possibly can be. I can’t imagine there is much more that they can do to make it better.”