In June I was contacted by a kind woman from RTL, Europe’s largest private broadcasting network, who was interested in doing a story about TinySuperheroes. We were once again incredibly humbled and touched by the generosity of others who want to help us further our mission, and this was particularly exciting as it would directly help us empower more TinySuperheroes outside of the US. Logistics lead us to booking the shoot for August. When the family we had lined up were confronted with urgent medical needs the week of the shoot, we scrambled to find another Extraordinary TinySuperhero nearby who we could feature.
Perhaps the only fortunate thing about having a waiting list 300 long of TinySuperheroes waiting for their capes is that Super Cameron was on it! With zero notice, Super Cameron’s amazing parents told us to come on over with our amazing film crew to meet their Extraordinary TinySuperhero. Their openness made yesterday a day that I will never forget.
Like most seven year olds, Super Cameron enjoys riding his bike, building train sets, playing Super Mario Party on the Wii, going to birthday parties and joking around with his Super Sidekick brother Spencer. Technology isn’t new to Super Cameron. In fact, it’s hard to believe, but he’s never been alive when an iPhone didn’t exist. Well, Cameron doesn’t have his own iPhone yet, but he has a device that for many of us is outdated, but for him is the most important piece of technology he knows.
Super Cameron has an old-school looking black pager. His mom has it attached to her purse so that it is with them wherever they go. And they can’t go too far, because the moment that pager starts beeping, they’ll head immediately to Seattle Children’s Hospital for Cameron to receive his new heart.
Cameron was born in 2006 and was adopted soon after his birth by his amazing mom and dad from the midwest, who immediately became his advocate. One of Cameron’s birth parents suffered from a heart condition that has a genetic component. When Cameron was 2 years old, his mom pushed the doctors to perform an echocardiogram to see if Cameron also had the condition. Because he didn’t exude any symptoms at that time, the doctors were not eager to do the test, but Cameron’s parents insisted, and doing so likely saved Cameron’s life.
Cameron was soon diagnosed with restrictive cardiomyopathy. It is an uncommon and serious heart condition where the walls of the heart are rigid, which restricts the heart from stretching and filling with blood properly. It is referred to as a silent killer, because it is often not detected until after someone goes into cardiac arrest. The only effective treatment is a heart transplant.
So, now Super Cameron waits. He waits for the pager to beep so that he will be given a new heart, which will allow him to “run around like other kids” without getting tired. I asked him how he felt about the surgery, and while he is definitely excited to have a new heart, he’s a little nervous about the needle they’ll have to use. But, it won’t be the first time he’s endured a scary procedure, so he knows he’ll be just fine.
I wish I had the writing abilities to really capture the love, kindness and beauty that I felt from Cameron’s family yesterday. His Super Sidekick brother Spencer was also adopted. He is five years old and has Autism as his super power. It was clear that despite their own challenges, Cameron and Spencer are careful to take care of one another as Dynamic Duos tend to do.
Super Cameron is really excited to be on TV! We can’t wait to share the piece with him when it is finished. Through this waiting period his parents have created an amazing support system for Cameron. He recently received over 170 cards in the mail! He has a map hanging on his wall with a dot on each place he received a card from!
We were so anxious to introduce Super Cameron & Super Spencer as our newest members of the Extraordinary TinySuperhero Squad. We hope you will pray for the success of his heart transplant. And for today, we hope you’ll take a minute to send him some love. He is SO excited about his new Facebook page and he’s wearing 12 “Cameron’s Hope” bracelets, which he’s selling for $5 to “cover expenses” for his medical procedures. And maybe, you’ll give him the opportunity to put another dot on his map! You can send him cards to this address: Cameron Spray - C / O Marci Spray - PO Box 565 - Dupont, WA 98327
Here’s his Facebook page: Psalm 147:3 Cameron’s Hope. Go say hello to these incredible kids – tell them your rooting for them – and maybe even send them a card! Any connection you form with Super Cameron will leave a permanent mark on your heart – no doubt. Oh – and enjoy the video below while you’re here! We’ll be sure to share Super Cameron’s debut on German television once its posted!