On Oct. 25, 2011, 13-year old Cameron Evans learned he had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Around six months later, Evans sadly passed away.
His family began the Downingtown-based charity “Cure4Cam” in his name to fight childhood cancer.
When Cameron was sick, his friends rallied around him.
They started a campaign “Cure4Cam” at their school and sold bracelets that said Cure4Cam.
After Cameron passed away in May 2012, his family decided to start a charity for children suffering from all types of cancer, so that “no other child would have to suffer as he did,” his mother, Regina Evans, said. The charity officially started in Fall 2012.
Since the charity was formed, Cure4Cam raised $360,000 for childhood cancer researchers across the country.
“Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, through their Charity Partners program, has matched most of these funds for projects chosen by Cure4Cam so that, in essence, Cure4Cam has ‘directed’ a total of $680,000 to childhood cancer research. Due to a contribution from a generous supporter, 100 percent of donations go to fund childhood cancer research,” Regina said.
The charity is also striving for there to be less dangerous cancer treatments for children, as they feel that chemotherapy is often incredibly harmful.
“We believe in a future in which children’s cancer treatments will be gentler and more effective,” the Cure4Cam brochure states.
The charity has hosted a variety of events to fight cancer. Events can be found at cure4cam.org/events.
Cameron had been an active cross country runner, so Cure4Cam has hosted many different running events.
The first event they participated in was the 2012 Chester County Turkey Trot. This is a 5k walk/run and takes place on Thanksgiving at Downingtown West High School.
Typically, 2,200 people participate in the event. The Downingtown West Cross Country team runs the event.
“2015 will be the fourth year Cure4Cam is the beneficiary of all sponsorship money and part of the proceeds of this event,” Regina said.
Students interested in participating this year should check out the Turkey Trot registration page at chestercountyturkeytrot.com.
Cure4Cam has also hosted the Muddy Shoes Relay for three years. It’s recently been renamed to Relays4Cam. It can either be a 5K or a 3-person relay, with each person running about a mile each.
“Cameron believed that almost anyone could run a mile,” Regina said.
When Cameron was alive, he ran a website, camcreator.com. The original name of this relay comes from a post on the website that he made.
He posted, “As we run through life, we step into many moments, both good and bad, but as long as we don’t change our shoes too much, there is nothing we can’t handle.
Currently, I am stepping in mud, and when I get out of the mud, it will leave a trace on everything else I step on. This can be a good thing as long as I am positive in the mud, so that the trail I later leave is a good one. The mud may stain my shoe, but it will not change the brand or the foot inside, only build up character.”
Cure4Cam has also hosted the Moonlight 5K. This run typically happens at around 8 p.m. in the summers, and runners are given a glow stick.
Last summer, Cure4Cam hosted a moonlight run in Exton and a moonlight run in West Chester.
Recently, a student at Carnegie Melon University organized a Moonlight run on their campus.
Cure4Cam doesn’t just host runs; they also host swimming events. Cameron was a swimmer too. Relays4Cam involves participants raising money for Cure4Cam and then doing a series of relay games in the pool.
The Collegiate Challenge involves college students raising money.
The challenges are set by the participants, but have typically involved participants swimming the distance from the college to Downingtown in a pool, as Downingtown is where Cameron lived.
There is a brand new bicycling event this year called Pedal4Cam. It took place on Sat., Oct. 10 in Exton.
It is either a 20 or 50 mile route through Chester County, a 1 to 10 mile route on paved trails, or an 8 to 12 mile mountain bike ride into Marsh Creek State Park, according to Regina Evans.
Other events have included Cam-a-thon (an overnight dance marathon), blanket making, and Coins4Cam (coin donations at events).
If students want to get involved, they are encouraged to help at any of the above events. Cure4Cam also encourages students and organizations at WCU to host their own event to benefit Cure4Cam.
They also need students to write letters, newsletters, grants, etc. Students can help develop graphics for social media posts, event posters, etc. Students can take photographs or make videos.
It’s also easy for students to get involved by making blankets that Cure4Cam donates to children in hospitals.
Cameron once said, “If you have an idea, you try it. You have a goal, you strive for it. If you were given a source of inspiration, you better feed that inspiration with the creativity inside yourself and make something great.”
To volunteer in any way with Cure4Cam, contact them through their website (cure4cam.org) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Theresa Kelly is a fourth-year student majoring in English literature secondary education. She can be reached at TK780615@wcupa.edu.