Camden was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia on August 28, 2005 at the age of 18 months. Upon diagnosis he was immediately admitted to OU Children’s Medical center to begin treatment. It was confirmed that the cancer had already spread to 97% of his blood system and had all also made its way into his spinal cord and around his brain. This would mean more aggressive treatment in order to get him into remission. Camden started chemotherapy treatments but unfortunately the cancer was too aggressive and he didn’t respond to the treatment as the doctors hoped. In late October they informed the family that his only chance of survival would be to have a bone marrow transplant “if” they could get him in remission. His older brother Casey was tested, but not a match. He was placed on the National Donor waiting list in hopes of finding a match soon. During the wait Camden was given a strong cocktail of chemo therapies in one last effort to get his cancer into remission. It worked! He was immediately moved to the transplant floor to begin preparation. He received a few more rounds of chemotherapy and also had to have eight rounds of full body irradiation before he could get receive his donor’s cells.
On November 16, 2005 Camden received a stem cell transplant (less than one ounce of cell from an umbilical cord) from an unrelated donor. He remained hospitalized and in very bad condition throughout the next month. Mid December his blood work came back with a few cells and once those were tested it was clear that the new cells that were starting to develop were his donors! Because Camden’s body can reject his donor at anytime in life he will never be considered “cured.” If his cells ever come back, odds of the cancer coming back are extremely high. This is a battle he will have to fight his entire life. He still is seen at OU Medical throughout the year for testing of his blood counts, donor cells, and also to check for damage and treatment of the damage that was done from chemo and radiation.
Although this is a journey that Camden will have to battle his entire life, he’s a fighter and will continue to win the fight against Cancer.