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Happy 2012! January 13, 2012

Posted by Tweet4Cams in Uncategorized.
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Hi everyone! I apologize for taking so long to make a new post! 2011 brought some new challenges that needed to be taken care of. 

Good news – everything is going fairly well for Cams! His cardiology team let us know that part of his heart is thickening, so his medication has been upped once again. Otherwise, he is healthy and happy! We celebrated Cameron finally weighing in at 40lbs! 

I will have a better post coming soon! Thank you for hanging in there!

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Tweet4Cams Mention — Telling a Young Patient’s Story Through the Power of Social Media August 11, 2011

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We’re excited to share with you that Tweet4Cams was mentioned in Telling a Young Patient’s Story Through the Power of Social Media! Please check out and share the article! Huge thank you to Julian Bond for mentioning us!

Tweet4Cams on STSW! August 11, 2011

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Last weekend, I had the opportunity to talk about Tweet4Cams on STSW, an online, sports radio show. You can listen and download the show here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/spinningthesportsworld Thank you so much to the guys at STSW for helping bring awareness to INAD!

If you would like to make a donation in honor of Cams, please check out this link: www.wishmich.org/teamcams2011

Don’t forget to check out STSW on Facebook and Twitter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Runs Happening Off the Field June 29, 2011

Posted by Tweet4Cams in INAD, Miracle League.
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Cams always gets excited about baseball. When we’re at home, we know he will smile instantly if we say things like “throw the ball!” or “swing and a miss”. I’m writing this post because I felt like I needed to get a message out after watching Cam’s baseball game over the weekend.

It was no shock to see Cams extremely excited and making lots of noise at his Friday night game. I hung out with him in the dugout where he was busy watching a couple of people playing catch. After the national anthem, I was wheeling Cams back to the dugout and Cams started clapping with the crowd and some of the other players. During the games, Cam’s signature move is to take his hat off and put it back on when he gets to third base (quite the show off). After the game, someone asked for a high five, and he gave them one with a smile on his face. These all sound like normal, everyday type of actions for a baseball game — which they are. That’s exactly what got me so excited.

After the game ended, I was in my car thinking about how much fun Cams had during the game (he has the greatest smile that you can’t really just walk away from without thinking about it later). I was so proud of him just for putting his own hat and glove on! Seeing him do those things brought back a lot of memories from Cam’s past that I couldn’t ignore.

When I first learned about Cameron’s condition, doctors said he had the cognitive ability of a 16-month old, and that was about as far as he was going to get. It seemed like he would never be able to act like a “normal” kid at any point. Even though putting a hat on seems like a simple task, it feels AWESOME to see him do it by himself.

Small things like putting a hat or baseball glove on keep me hopeful that Cams will be able to do so much more. For 12 years, he’s proven doctors wrong time and time again. As if his improvements with comprehending and remembering weren’t enough, I’ve seen him prove doctors wrong with their biggest prognosis; his life expectancy.

For years, our family was told that Cams wasn’t going to make it through the winter. I can’t tell you what it’s like to hear that statement once, let alone multiple years in a row. It’s never something that you ever get used to hearing, but it is something that, after hearing it a few times, you just want to roll your eyes at the broken record. No matter how upset, frustrated, or confused I was about what was going to happen, Cams ALWAYS had a smile on his face. The thought of him being gone and not being able to see him so happy is the most terrifying thought that I ever have. Unfortunately, the reality is that it won’t ever go away; it’s something that is always at the back of my mind. Luckily for me, I’ve been able to focus my energy on keeping that smile on Cams face, and reaching out to as many people about his condition that I can.

I wish that all who read this could meet Cams and see exactly what I’m talking about. My goal with this post is to reach someone who is impacted by anyone in a similar situation, and remind you to never give up hope. If you aren’t going through the situation yourself, let someone else know that you are there for them however they might need it. Most of the time, all that someone needs is an ear that will listen. As long as you open up, there IS support for you! If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from Cams, it’s to never overlook even the tiniest victories. Keep in mind that small steps lead to big changes!

Photos: Miracle League Opening Game June 6, 2011

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6/5/11 — Pictures from Cam’s first game this season!
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Miracle League of Michigan – Vandalism Update June 1, 2011

Posted by Tweet4Cams in Miracle League.
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Just wanted to share a more recent news update on how the Miracle Field clean up is coming along.

Saturday is opening day for the Miracle League, and I don’t think anyone is looking forward to that day more than Cams! I’m bringing Cams his jersey today, and I know he’s going to have the biggest smile on his face when he sees it! Our family has gone from angry and frustrated, because of the recent vandalism to the field, to excited and optimistic. There has been a massive effort made to clean up the field. Our last post talked about what happened, as well as cost to repair and how you can help.

I’m very excited to share a more recent story about how hard Stephen Peck is working to get the field ready for Saturday. It’s amazing to see how many people have come together to help make the cleanup efforts a success! Check out the story by Hometown Life here.

Check out the previous post about what happened, as well as how you can help!

Miracle League of Michigan Vandalism Fund May 25, 2011

Posted by Tweet4Cams in charity, Miracle League.
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The Miracle League of Michigan

While Cams has certain characteristics that make him different from most kids his age, he does have an interest that many share: baseball.

Since 2004, the Miracle League of Michigan has provided Cams, along with 400 other individuals, with something to look forward to every summer and fall. A Miracle Field was constructed in Southfield, Michigan, made of rubber instead of dirt and grass. The field allows for kids with wheelchairs, walkers, and other types of mobility devices, to play baseball and score some runs!

Players are matched up with a buddy. Buddies help with hitting and throwing the ball, as well as running the bases. Every player gets a chance to hit, and whether you’re running or rolling over home plate, everyone scores a run.

Cams smiling and up to bat with his buddy!

Cam’s has been playing with the Miracle League for years. I’ve been able to attend most games, and I can’t tell you how awesome it is to see all of these kids have such a great time. Everyone is smiling and cheering each other on – fans and opposing teams! The Miracle League gives kids like Cameron a chance to have a great time with other people around the same age, and just have a great time. Family members and friends all come out to support their teams and the players.

Vandalism

Unfortunately, the Miracle Field was vandalized over the weekend of May 21st. I found out about the incident through WXYZ (check out their full report and call to action here). Bill Spencer reported the story on the field, as well as the Call for Action to help raise $6,000 going toward the repair and clean up of the field (total cost would end up around $60,000). In a follow-up story the next day, Spencer reported that they had met their $6,000 goal in less than three hours! Thanks to the news report, other individuals and groups have come forward and continue to make donations for the vandalism fund. According to the Miracle League of Michigan site, other outlets have also reported the story. These include WDIV Channel 4 news, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, WJR, and Channel 955 radio (links below).

I was extremely upset to hear about the vandalism, and I hope that spreading the news will help reach individuals who can help get the field ready for the June 4th opening day. I know Cams is looking forward to playing ball, and can only imagine how excited the other 400 kids are as well! Thank you very much to all who are donating to this cause! You are helping continue this great experience for the kids and their families.

For more information on how to donate, as well as information on the extent of the damage, visit the Miracle League of Michigan’s website.

Coverage

World Wish Day and Walk for Wishes Update! May 24, 2011

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World Wish Day

World Wish Day is a celebration of granting wishes through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. We celebrate World Wish Day every year on April 29th. This marks the anniversary of the first wish that was ever granted. A 7-year-old boy named Christopher had been diagnosed with leukemia and had a wish to be a police officer. His community came together to help make his wish come true! You can read more about the first wish ever granted at http://wish.org/about/the_first_wish.

Today, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life threatening illnesses. The operate in all 50 states, as well as in 36 countries around the world! To date, the Foundation has granted over 250,000 wishes! World Wish Day shares the stories of wishes that have been granted, such as Cameron’s wish story!

Make-A-Wish grants all kinds of wishes, ranging from “I wish to go”, “I wish to have”, “I wish to meet”, and “I wish to be”. Some wish kids want new playgrounds in their yards, or a new bedroom sets. Others wish to be transformed into a princess for the day, or be a superhero! Many wish to go somewhere new, such as the Give Kids the World Resort in Florida, or Hawaii. There are so many wish stories to check out! Visit http://wish.org/stories/recent to read of some recent wishes that have been granted.

You can always get involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and help grant the wishes of kids like Chris and Cams! Attending fundraising events, such as your local Walk for Wishes, and forming walk teams and sponsorships help to grant more wishes!

Walk for Wishes Update

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan held their SE Michigan Walk for Wishes on May 7th. Unlike last year, where walkers braved the cold and rain, walkers were able to enjoy their walk around the zoo in the sunshine! Over 2,000 walkers came out and supported the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s mission. In 2010, the walk raised over $207,000 to help grant the wishes of Michigan wish children. This year, walkers came together and raised over $236,000!

Check out the Make-A-Wish Michigan website to register for the West Michigan Walk for Wishes, as well as the results from the Southeast Michigan walk!

Cam’s Wish Experience March 30, 2011

Posted by Tweet4Cams in Cam's Wish, GKTW, Make-A-Wish.
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Earlier this month, I was able to experience another magical moment with Cams. This time the memory doesn’t involve a doctor’s office or a new diagnosis; it’s all about his wish trip.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan granted Cam’s wish to visit Give Kids The World

Village in Florida. I had heard a LOT about the village from people at Make-A-Wish, as well as online from families who had visited the village. Everyone had so many positive things to say whether or not they had actually visited GKTW. It sounded like a truly amazing

experience!

I was very excited that Cams was even able to have a wish granted. He was welcomed to the Make-A-Wish family in 2001 and over time, the wish had gotten away from the attention of the family. This was due to the change in diagnosis, school changes, and doctors/therapy appointments.  Make-A-Wish was able to reach out to the family about making the wish in 2010.

In early spring of 2010, I was asked about what kind of wish Cams might want to have. A few months later, the family found out that the wish would be granted in early 2011. Later on, we found out the exact date and started planning!

I knew about the general concepts of wishes to GKTW – it’s a special place designed specifically for wish kids from different wish-granting organizations (read about general GKTW information here) who want to provide a cost-free fun and memorable experience for the family. They have welcomed over 100,000 families, and we were next!

Getting out of snowy Michigan was amazing. We landed and were picked up righ away to get to GKTW! The first thing I noticed was how true everything I had heard about GKTW actually was. The village was full of volunteers and families who were having wishes granted and were enjoying their time at the village. When we pulled into GKTW, all that you see are streets full of villas with Welcome Home signs in front of them, welcoming each family back from their busy day.

When we arrived at Cam’s place, he had the biggest smile on his face! He was so excited to see us! The entire family packed up and went to Universal Studios for the day. Cams was able to go on a few rides, as well as meet a few characters, including the Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 & 2. We stayed at the park as long as we could until it was time for Cams to head home and to bed.

Saturday morning, all of us woke up early to head to Disney. Cams was going to have breakfast with the characters that morning. The experience was awesome – Cams met his favorite characters from Winnie the Pooh and had a smile on his face the whole time! He loved meeting all of the characters; especially Tigger.

After breakfast, Cams met the mayor, who gave us all kinds of ideas on what to do next. First up, the celebration that was happening on Main Street! Everyone was dancing and having a great time! The rest of the day was spent walking around Disney and going on even more rides! Cams loved going through the Haunted Mansion and on the boat through Adventure Island!

After spending the day at Disney, the family headed back to GKTW for dinner at the Gingerbread House. For me, the dinner was the highlight of the trip. As you know, Cams can’t talk. At one point, Cams looked me right in the eye and smiled. The expression on his face said so much – I think that if he could talk, he would have said something about how much fun he was having, and how happy he was. Next to Cam’s walking machine experience, this is my favorite memory with him!

Sunday was my last day in Florida (Cams stayed until Tuesday) so we stayed at GKTW and had lunch after playing a round of putt-putt golf. This was Cam’s first time playing, and it looked like he was able to get the hang of it with a little help from his older brother!

We all have different favorite memories from the wish. As stated before, Cam’s smile at dinner was my favorite. Cam’s  brother loved the character breakfast, and Cam’s mom enjoyed making the star and hanging it up at Give Kids The World.

We’re all so thankful to have had the opportunity to experience Cam’s wish. More information on the Make-A-Wish Foundation, check out their website.

Cam’s Wish – Give Kids The World March 23, 2011

Posted by Tweet4Cams in Cam's Wish, GKTW, Make-A-Wish.
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Give Kids the World: Where Happiness Inspires Hope


In 1989, a village called Give Kids the World (GKTW) opened it’s doors to children with life threatening illnesses. Inspired by a young girl who had passed away from cancer, Henri Landwirth created a place for children and their families to go and experience a cost-free, memorable experience.

GKTW is a 70-acre, nonprofit village, home to over 140 villas designed to host families from all over the world. Over 100,000 families have experienced the magic of the village.

One of the villas at GKTW

All villas have a Welcome Home sign with the family's name to welcome them when they arrive and return 'home'

These families have traveled from all 50 states, as well as over 70 countries.In

2009, GKTW granted over 6,200 wishes for children from the United States, and 668 from countries outside of the United States. The village operates based on five core

values: compassion, dedication, credibility, integrity, and teamwork. All of these values help to make the experience unforgettable for each family.

All wish-granting organizations can partner with Give Kids the World to help create a magical wish for a child and their family. Several organizations that GKTW currently works with are the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Children’s Wish Fund, Magic Moments, Special Wishes, Cool Kids Campaign, and many more.

Volunteers help make every experience memorable at the village. From check in to dinner time, volunteers are everywhere to pick you up, take you on a train ride, get you some ice cream, or help you pick out a souvenir GKTW t-shirt. The village has over 1,400 different volunteer opportunities each week.

A view from the street - some of the villas at Give Kids the World

In addition to the 148 villas located inside of GKTW, there are several other fun buildings to visit. The House of Hearts is your starting point. When you walk through the doors of the House of Hearts for the first time, you are greeted by a GKTW representative with a gift for the wish child, as well as their siblings! The family is given a basic overview of what the village provides, as well as explain what is in the villa. This is also where you are given  your theme park tickets.

The Gingerbread House is where families enjoy breakfast and dinner in the village. All around the ceilings of the building are dolls and toys from around the world. All of the tables and chairs are easily accessible to accommodate for any individual’s needs. Volunteers serve the food as well as clean up the dishes from the Gingerbread House.

Ice Cream Palace where families can grab a scoop or two before deciding what to do next!

Other facilities in the village include the Castle of Miracles, Ice Cream Palace, Enchanted Carousel, Julie’s Safari Theatre, and Matthew’s Boundless Playground.

“Give Kids the World exists  only to fulfill the wishes of all children with life-threatening illnesses and their families from around the world to experience a memorable, joyful, cost-free visit to the Central Florida attractions, and to enjoy the magic of Give Kids the World Village as long as there is a need” (from the Give Kids the World Statement of Values and Code of Ethics)

Additional information on Give Kids the World can be found online at their website, www.gktw.org