Heart drawn in sand at the beach

I met Cameron when he was 11.

He was in remission from cancer, but was still dealing with the physical effects of the grueling treatment he’d received for years. Cameron had endured more than his share.

His mom hoped I could help Cameron with some of the worries he still carried in spite of the cancer being gone.

I was nervous. How could I help this little guy who had experienced so much pain? What could I possibly contribute? My training didn’t seem like it could be enough for him.

Cameron made my job easy by making me feel at ease right away. Our first session started with technological hiccups. I scrambled my brain to figure out how to make the horrible Skype connection work. Cameron knew what to do. “Does she have FaceTime?”, I heard him ask his mom. Yes, I did! From then on our chats were Cameron on his iPad and me on my iPhone. The talks were wobbly pictured, easy and and so enjoyable for me. He spoke with me like I was an old friend. He was quick with a smile. Cameron charmed me. I had nothing to fear in working with this sweet, kindhearted boy.

Fortunately, before that first chat, I remembered that my only job was to love him.

When we stand in love, anything is possible.

Cameron had courage and was strong in the face of fear. Cancer entered his life and brought along dysfunctional thoughts. Even when the cancer was at bay, the thoughts came back to worry him.

In our last conversation, he’d been thinking about the possibility that the cancer might be back. This made him feel scared. When I asked how he wanted to feel, he said: “safe”. I couldn’t tell him how to feel safe, but I could lead him to his own beliefs of safety.

Safety for Cameron was his family.

Thinking of his family, being with his family, remembering times with his family and being home. He could choose to go back to his family and the feeling of safety anytime in his thoughts. I taught him that he didn’t need to fear those scary thoughts, that he could feel through them and then switch to thoughts of his family.

Even though I helped to ease his worry a bit, Cameron was the one who really contributed to me. He was SO brave. He had already managed so much in his life and managed it well. He was (still is) loved my many hundreds, but more likely thousands of people.

Cameron was a special gift.

Cameron stood in love. He did really hard things in his life. He believed in what was possible. He wanted to live to be an 80 year old man. It didn’t happen, but his spirit lives on with us.

I am honored to have met Cameron. He gave me strength. He will be a gift to me for the rest of my life.

Thank you Cameron, I love you.


If you would like to contribute to end childhood cancer, please make a donation in Cameron’s name or a loved one you have that may have been affected by cancer to Press On to Cure Childhood Cancer. This organization was started by families affected by this devastating disease.

Photo by Khadeeja Yasser on Unsplash

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About The Author

Katie McClain SEP's picture

Katie McClain, SEP is a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner, author, and certified life coach. She’s been coaching for 25+ years and uses Somatic Experiencing®, a gentle body-mind method, to support her adult and child clients in releasing stress, growing self-compassion, and restoring goodness to their lives. Katie’s book, How to Tame Your Thought Monster, is available in multiple formats (English, Spanish, coloring book, and app) and presents mindfulness and positive thinking tools for adults and kids so they can feel better and do better. Visit Katie at her website, www.katiemcclain.com, follow her on Facebook  and Instagram.

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