I have been working in television news for roughly five years and the biggest blessing of all is the ability to come across some extraordinary individuals and I am fortunate enough to know a wonderful 12-year-old in Cam Rehkow.
Now, not only is KREM2 working on a bigger story about Cam, but I am advocating for you to be a part of his story, but before I get to the 'how,' let's talk about the 'why?'
Ten months ago I went to the Rehkow household to speak with Cam about an afternoon in April of 2016--a day that changed his life.
"(My family) finally got back to see the doctor after an hour of sitting and (the doctor) showed us the X-ray's and told me 'I had Leukemia,' Cam said. "That was probably the worst moment of my life."
Cam would now have to fight for his life going through chemotherapy and it was from that point forward that Cam and his family would need help.
There were GoFundMe.com pages, along with plenty of others sending money or videos of support, but Cam's father, Freddie, is the head coach of the Central Valley girls basketball team and these high school girls stepped up in a huge way.
Before every huddle at the beginning of the game, the girls would yell 'Bears for Cam' dedicating the season to him. Cam would sit on the bench whenever he was feeling good enough to get out and support the team. Central Valley made Cam not just a cheer, but an important part of the team and that does wonders for a psyche. We often talk about the power of sports beyond wins and losses and the girls basketball team is a great example of that.
"Last year, if we're being up front, those girls probably helped save (Cam's) life," Freddie said. "(The girls) gave him a passion and something to look forward to. Those relationships and those young ladies caring about him really help pull him through his toughest times."
I am happy to say Cam is in the maintenance part of his treatment, though his battle is not over quite yet. Worth noting the outlook is very good as he's back to school and slowly starting to get into activities.
This is where I bring everything back full circle.
Now that Cam is in the maintenance phase of his treatment, the family is giving back to the causes that helped them desperately during their darkest times as Central Valley is hosting the Cam Jam Clash for Cancer.
Central Valley is, essentially, hosting a mini-state tournament in Spokane welcoming schools that finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th in Tacoma last year. It will be an eight team tournament spanning from December 28-30 and all the proceeds from this tourney will be distributed to the Anna Schindler Foundation for Childhood Cancer and CV Invest Ed to help students with need at Central Valley.
"We're hoping to get this place packed," Freddie said. "Get the word out to everybody to come support it. It's our way of giving back and it's going to help the kids of this community. It's going to help the kids in Spokane."
Cam said, "Nobody ever knows who this can happen to or when it could happen, but just knowing to be aware of it and there are a lot of people willing to help out."
If you would like to donate to the Anna Schindler Foundation for Childhood Cancer you can click on the link provided: http://annaschindlerfoundation.org/