RICHLAND TWP., Pa. - A local boy who recently beat cancer is getting help from the community so he and his family can put the nightmare behind them for good.
On Sunday, Cameron Wakely rolled up in style to a benefit held in his name. The 7-year-old Richland Township boy was all smiles at the local American Legion Post after a year that brought very few.
"They have no idea until you go through it," said Cameron's father, John.
This time last year, the Wakelys spotted what they thought was a spider bite on Cameron's leg. Thinking nothing of it, Cameron jokingly named the bump Sparky.
"I just thought it was cool until I thought it was cancer, then I didn't think it was cool," Cameron said.
Neither did his dad.
"If you ever got a sledgehammer in the chest, it just takes the breath out of you," he said.
Cameron was diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma, a very rare type of cancer, and underwent multiple surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy. But he did not do it alone.
"My family has been there for me," says Cameron.
And so has the community. The Philadelphia Eagles, 76ers and Phillies are each making sure they are there for Cameron just like he always is for them. Within the past year, Cameron got a chance to meet Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, 76ers center Joel Embiid and will be meeting Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper in a couple weeks.
"To look up to somebody like a Carson (Wentz) or like a Joel (Embiid) or like a Bryce (Harper) it gives them hope," says John.
Bob Grunmeier and Mike Kulick's sons play on the same baseball team as Cameron. Last year on opening day, there was a ceremony held detailing a certain player's off field struggles.
"When I seen it was him (Cameron) it just hit home for me. So I knew it was something that we had to do," says Kulick.
So the two used their positions at the local American Legion Post to hold a "fun-raiser" to help the Wakelys pay for treatment. For that, John says the family will forever be in debt to the community.
"We'll be re-paying it back for the rest of our lives," he said.
And as for Cameron, he is now in remission and slowly getting back to his old energetic self.
"I just miss his smile and it's actually coming back now," says John.
A rain washed and tattered teddy bear rests at the base of street signs, amid candles that have long been blown out.Read More »
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