Cameron Tipton Brooks was born May 5, 1995 in Livingston, New Jersey. He was adorable - he had a perfectly round head. His Grandma called him bowling ball head. He had this strange way of always looking at people like he could read what they were thinking. We lived in West Orange, NJ.
Cameron has one sister, Charli, she's 14 and in the 8th grade. Charli was Cameron's best friend, even though they were 5 years apart he looked up to her and loved being with her. Cameron's idea of fun was whatever Charli wanted to do. He loved being with her and her friends, they were all like his big sisters and they loved him.
Cameron also loved to be with his dad, Charles. They were 'dudes'. Cameron loved to play golf with his daddy. He loved when we played girls vs. boys and when Charles would protect him and beat us up. If he could he would have slept on Charles' chest every night. It was his favorite place to be. No matter what you told Cameron he would check with Charles to that you were right.
Cameron's mom, Carla is a teacher, but stopped working the day after Cameron was diagnosed. She updates Cameron's other webpage and made sure that he had everything he wanted or needed. Carla gave Cameron nightly lotion rub down’s after his bath, they always put him to sleep. He loved them.
We moved to West Hartford, CT in August 2004. Cameron loved the new house and the new neighborhood. He was looking forward to taking the bus and learning to tell time in second grade. After one month of second grade on a Saturday morning, we noticed Cameron limping, still running, but limping. That Sunday an MRI showed our worst night mare. Unfortunately Cameron was diagnosed on September 26, 2004 with a diffuse pontine glioma, an inoperable brain tumor. We were given 9-12 months. There are more details in the "Cameron's Illness" section. We were going to try to beat the odds and have fun while doing it. Cameron started Radiation in early October. We also entered a clinical trial were he took chemo at home with a pill. He did wonderfully!! Cameron was such a trooper. He did whatever we asked him to do. He started Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physical Therapy (PT). He loved all the attention and all the friendly people that we met at the hospital. He was so happy that family came to visit and looked forward to who was coming to visit. He was never sick and very happy. You rarely saw Cameron without a smile.
We started to spend every moment like that clock was ticking. You can follow our journey on Cam's other web page www.caringbridge.com/ct/cameron Cameron wanted to go snow boarding. We went. Cameron wanted to go to the beach in November, we went. Cameron wanted to go to Legoland, we went. We took advantage of every offer that we were given. We went to the Nickelodeon Studios in California. Cameron met the creator of the Fairly Odd Parents. We were in a taping of Avatar - it was very neat. We went to Disney studio and Cameron got to animate Chicken Little. Cameron got to throw out the first pitch at a minor league base ball game. His class mates raised money for Cancer research. Our neighbors rose to the occasion. Cameron couldn't ride his bike so they bought him a little battery powered corvette. Charles friends at work had a clown come to our house (Cameron took chemo in the middle and no one every knew - he was such a trooper.) He wanted a pool table - friend bought him a pool table. We had a Make-A-Wish and Cameron got to meet Tony Hawk and go to the Boom-Boom Huck Jam (an outrageous skateboard, motorcycle and bmx show - it was awesome!) in a limo. We went to Florida to stay at the Nickelodeon Hotel. We went knee boarding. We visited relatives that we either hadn't seen in a long time or never met.
In September 2005 when Cameron was walking we noticed he couldn’t keep his balance, after a visit to see Dr. Hagstom and an impromptu MRI, we learned Cameron’s tumor was back. There were actually new tumors in a different part of his brain, in his cerebellum.
What I forgot to mention is that we were given a lap top. As we started new treatment and Cameron’s health started to decline, he became consumed with Christmas. He spent hours everyday searching the web for the perfect Christmas list. By the time Christmas came, he had about 115 items on his list, each one meticulously researched and chosen. He woke up early each morning to work on it and went to bed late trying to complete it. After Christmas passed he changed it to Cameron’s Christmas List to Cameron’s Things I want List, which he continued to update until the Wednesday before he died.