Cameron's journey finishes on top of Sydney
Thanks to Hungry Jack's, Cameron was able to live it up in Sydney with his family and mates for his wish.
Mate comes along on wish trip
For Cameron, not going to school and seeing his mates was one of the hardest things about his acute myeloid leukaemia.
So when asked what his wish would look like, he made sure he included one of his good mates Isaac in the wish.
For his wish, Cameron, his family and Isaac lived the high life in Sydney and got to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
“I would give the wish 10 out of 10,” Cameron said. “I enjoyed all of it; it was an unreal experience. I would like to thank Make-A-Wish for everything they did. They were so good to me during this journey.”
Awful news for family
Cameron’s journey started in November 2020. At first, GPs thought he was being laid low by allergies, but when he told mum Charmaine one side of his face felt paralysed, Charmaine took him straight to the hospital.
The first blood test at the hospital showed Cameron’s white cell count was extremely high.
“They did another test, and this time they took me into a room with another doctor,” Charmaine said.
“I’ve just gone ‘oh no’, and that’s when they said he’s got leukaemia.
“I just sat there and stared at them, and they were all staring at me, and I just broke down.
“Then somebody ran out to get a box of tissues.”
Intense treatment pays dividends
Doctors moved quickly to combat Cameron’s acute myeloid leukaemia, a fast-moving and aggressive cancer.
As well as intense chemotherapy, Cameron received a trial immunotherapy drug.
He remembers “being in a lot of pain” for those three or four months.
By March 2021, Cameron’s treatment had finished, and he got to ring the bell at the hospital – just like other children who have beaten cancer.
The milestone brought immense relief to Charmaine and Cameron’s whole family, although the prospect of a bone marrow transplant still looms.
Once a month, Cameron gets a blood test. That hospital appointment always brings a sense of anxiety to the family.
“They said he had a high probability of having a bone marrow transplant,” Charmaine said.
“We stay positive and keep thinking it is never going to come to that.”
When another boy in his hospital room talked about Make-A-Wish and his wish for a puppy, Cameron began to think about applying for his own wish.
Cameron got inspiration from Kobe’s wish to live in luxury. The essential components of Cameron’s wish were to stay in a fancy hotel, go on the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb and get a pair of Nike Jordan runners.
Cameron ended up with his own hotel room to share with mate Isaac as they enjoyed spectacular Sydney views, the hotel buffet and the jaw-dropping waterfall style pool.
“When the kids opened the hotel room door and saw the view, they were completely in awe,” Charmaine said.
“Cameron was super rapt by the Nike store visit, and the Teppanyaki restaurant was a lot of fun, and of course, the bridge climb was amazing.
“The kids were in the waterfall pool all the time. On the last night at 9pm, it was freezing, and a gale was blowing, but they wouldn’t get out, and I thought, ‘Why not? Let them make the most of it’.
“Cameron will never forget the experience; none of us will. The wish trip was something we’d never be able to give him ourselves.”
'Second chance' for young man
As 13-year-old Cameron and his family drove back home after their wish trip, Charmaine started to think about how far her boy had come.
It was almost 12 months since he went into remission.
Not so long ago, he was struggling to walk far. And for his wish, he was able to walk for hours and then climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
“He’s come so far,” Charmaine said. “He went into this journey as a young boy, and he’s come out the other side as a young man.
“He wants to play rugby league this year. All those things, sitting in hospital next to him, you don’t know if they are going to happen.”
Proud father Greg did the bridge climb with Cameron.
When they got near the top, he watched Cameron say a few words on a video for Make-A-Wish.
“Cameron had a big smile on his face,” Greg said.
“I think he realises he has a second chance and how lucky he is. It was definitely a special moment.”
Hungry Jack's and Make-A-Wish have joined forces this month to bring hope to Wish kids like Cameron. Get involved by purchasing a $1, $2 or $5 Wishmaker star at any Hungry Jack's store, online and via the HJ’s app.
He went into this journey as a young boy, and he’s come out the other side as a young man.Charmaine, mum of Cameron acute myeloid leukaemia