NEWTOWN SQUARE–, a cancer survivor and a student, was recently recognized by Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation as a childhood cancer hero.
Mathes spoke before a crowd of Paxon Hollow and Haverford middle schoolers at at Haverford and shared his story of surviving cancer, inspring peers and teachers alike.
Alex's Lemonade recently featured Mathes as a guest blogger on the foundation's blog site here.
Below is the post he blogged:
My school, Paxon Hollow Middle School, participates in the Potter Cup each year with Haverford Middle School to raise money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand. I had acute lymphoblastic leukemia when I was younger, and I wanted to share my experience with my classmates.
On the morning of The Potter Cup, I spoke to the students at the school in order to help them understand what it was like to have cancer. The Potter Cup raised more than $38,000 this year, and I am proud to have been involved in raising money to help find a cure for childhood cancer. Here is my story that I told to my classmates:
My name is Cameron Mathes, and I am a seventh grader at Paxon Hollow. When I was 3 years old, I was diagnosed with leukemia, which is a type of cancer. I want to talk to you today to tell you what it was like to have cancer.
I don’t remember a lot from when I was sick, but I do remember that I couldn’t go to school, I had to get a lot of needles, and I lost all of my hair. I spent many days and nights at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), but they tried to make it a happy place for sick kids. I liked watching the ball machine in the lobby, I watched the Amtrak trains go by on the tracks, I enjoyed playing in the game room, the food was good, and I ate a lot of McDonald’s.
My parents have told me that when I was sick, it was a scary time for them. I had to have numerous medical procedures, I had pneumonia, my liver reacted badly to one of the medicines, and I had mouth sores so bad that I couldn’t eat. I stopped receiving chemotherapy treatments when I was almost 6 years old. After five years, the effects of the medicine I received had all worn off, and now I only have to go for check-ups once a year.
I didn’t know it at the time, but Alex, the girl who started Alex’s Lemonade Stand, was a patient at CHOP when I was. We received medicine next to each other in the day hospital, and we spent several nights in the hospital at the same time. I am proud to be a cancer survivor. I am happy to be alive, but am sad for the kids, like Alex, who didn’t survive.
I think it’s great that Paxon Hollow and Haverford Middle Schools raise so much money for Alex’s Lemonade Stand each year. There are many cancer patients who will be happy to know that so many kids are raising money so that a cure for cancer can be found.
- Cameron Mathes
This year's Potter Cup raised over $36,000 for childhood cancer awareness and research towards Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation. To find out more about Alex's Lemonade or how to get involved, visit their website here.