PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — This weekend is the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation Lemon Ball, a fundraiser for pediatric cancer. Meet Cameron Wakeley, one of the heroes of the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation. Cameron beat cancer with a few bumps along the way and now, he wants to help other kids like him.
Cameron is just 8 years old and he’s been through more than any kid should.
It all started with a bug bite, or so his parents thought.
“He’s like, ‘Mommy something bit me,’ and he was scratching at his leg and scratching at his leg. ‘When we get home, we’ll put something on it,'” Kristina Wakeley said.
But this bite wouldn’t go away.
“He came home from wrestling practice the one day and I was helping him shower, I’m like, ‘is that your bug bite?’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, I told you something was wrong,'” Wakeley said.
After a routine doctor’s visit and a checkup by a surgeon, the Wakeleys were told to keep an eye on it.
Well, the lump — which Cameron named “Sparky” — didn’t go away.
An ultrasound showed a mass, which doctors removed, telling Cameron’s parents that they’d test it “just in case.”
“Three days later, Aug. 17th, we got the phone call. He’s got Ewing’s sarcoma. I had everything ready for him to go to first grade and instead, I was like OK, we’re not going to go to school. Instead, we’re going to go fight cancer,” Wakeley said.
Cameron underwent surgery and 14 rounds of chemotherapy. The hospital stays were hard, so Cameron went to a clinic during the day and came home with a hydration backpack to help him recover from the harsh treatments.
“He sat here on the couch with his backpack and we’d flush it and change out fluids in the middle of the night,” Wakeley said.
“Barging into my room with flashlights,” Cameron said.
One drug used to treat Cameron’s cancer would wipe out his immune system. Cameron ended up with a leg infection and was rushed to the hospital in the middle of the night.
Side effects would delay his treatment, the chemo stretched into 10 months.
But on May 17, 2019, he finished — surrounded by his family — and even got a police escort home from the hospital.
Three days later, he was back on the baseball field.
Through it all, the Wakeleys were helped by Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation.
They were invited to an Eagles’ game and in head coach Doug Pederson’s box.
Cameron met one of his heroes.
“I remember meeting Carson Wentz, Swoop, cheerleaders,” Cameron said.
Wentz said he admired Cameron for being such a strong kid. Cameron also got to go to a Flyers game and a Sixers game. He even helped Joel Embiid in his warmups.
“It was a nice distraction for our whole family to just be able to go out and have a good time and not worry about Cam or chemo and cancer,” Wakeley said.
The Wakeleys decided to give back to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, hoping to help kids like Cameron.
They’ve held fundraisers and participated in other events — even coming to the CBS3 Alex Scott: A Stand For Hope telethon last year days after getting the great news.
“We’re done chemo,” Cameron said.
As for Cameron, he’s glad to be able to wrestle and play with brother Cavin and sister Caidyn, maybe help kids when he grows up. He has big plans for his future.
“Either a professional baseball player or a surgeon,” Cameron said.
Cameron even dressed up like his surgeon for Halloween.
He just wants to make kids feel better — and smile.