Ten-year-old Camryn loves gymnastics, looking for bugs and swimming. When thinking about her wish, she says she imagines waterfalls, beautiful waves, palm trees, tiki parties and luaus. What’s her wish? You guessed it. Camryn is going to Hawaii.
Camryn’s wish is on the horizon, but she is still in treatment. Last year, Camryn was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome a rare blood cancer disorder. At a doctor’s appointment for a regular check-up, Camryn’s mom Kimberly told the doctor she had concerns about her eating habits and about some bruises she found on Camryn’s body. The doctor ran some blood tests. The results were in the next day… Camryn had cancer.
“I remember falling to the floor crying, my co-workers surrounding me. It was as if time stood still,” Kimberly said. Camryn was admitted to the hospital that day. “As the doctors told me what was going on, I had a false sense that in a few months she would be cured.”
Camryn immediately started treatment in Houston at Texas Children’s Hospital, traveling 150 miles one to three times a week for four months. Camryn received weekly blood and platelet transfusions. She received intensive chemotherapy, then a bone marrow transplant. She remained in the hospital for two and a half months. Post-transplant, Camryn had doctor’s appointments every other day, then immune-suppressive therapy for eight months. Now, she has bi-weekly visits to monitor possible complications post-transplant.
Through her treatment process, Camryn could not be around the general public, couldn’t attend school, and she nor her siblings could have friends over. Now, after her transplant, she can be around adults only if they’ve been vaccinated, and other children that have been vetted by the doctor.
“It’s been rough for her to feel like she will fit back into being a kid again,” Kimberly said. “She gets so nervous every time she sneezes or coughs…she knows her body can’t fight the way it used to.”
Camryn is looking forward to the day when she can board the plane in Austin and land in paradise. She talks about Hawaii constantly.
“What we’ll see, what we’ll do when we get there. It’s the one thing we can all focus on when things aren’t so great,” said Kimberly.
Camryn has told us that she loves fish and dolphins. She’ll certainly see plenty when she snorkels in the beautiful waters of Hawaii. A brave young girl who has faced unfathomable challenges is focused on healing…on becoming a kid again…and celebrating with her family in one of the most beautiful places on earth.