We first introduced you to Cameron Scroggins back in 2013. He was nearly one year into a battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that ultimately led him to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Just a couple of months later at age 16, Cameron passed away. His mother, Trina, was by his side his entire journey from his diagnosis in Chattanooga to his final stop at St. Jude.
“He was very sick. He lost a lot of weight. Moody. But he was so strong through it all. But it changes your child completely,” said Trina Bryson.
Staff at St. Jude tried to do what they could to bring a smile to Cameron’s face and support him emotionally while he went through his treatments.
“One night he was really, really sick and one of the nurses went down to Child Life and brought him a bunch of hunting magazines. And that just lit up his day. Because he loved to hunt and he wasn’t able to because he was so sick,” said Bryson. “To see that smile on his face, every now and then, because when they’re sick they’re not always in a good mood, they don’t always smile. But to see him light up the way he did, made a huge difference.”
That level of care continued for Trina and her family even after Cameron passed away. Staff members called to check on Trina for months after his death.
Medical expenses piled up quickly for Cameron’s family before he went to St. Jude, but they didn’t have to pay a penny after they were transferred.
“St. Jude not only tends to the children, they make sure that the families are taken care of as well. You never have to worry about getting a bill. You never have to worry about collections calling you and saying, ‘You have to pay this.’ Or walking in and saying, ‘I need this copay.’ Because they don’t ask. They make sure that you’re taken care of from the time you leave your home to you get there, and then from the time you leave the hospital to you get home.”
Fundraisers like the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway help make it all possible.
“Every ticket, every dollar that comes in that place is one more day that the hospital stays open. As long as the hospital is open, there will be more children saved every day. More cures will be found. People won’t have to bury their children like I did,” said Bryson.
Trina says it isn’t easy, but she is working through her grief day by day.
“Every day is a new day. I have people say, ‘Oh, it will be okay. You’ll get over it.’ You never get over it. Every day is a new day that I wake up and thank God for the 16 years I had him. Every day I think of the things he taught me. And I remember how much he loved me,” said Bryson.
Trina said walking through this challenge with Cameron taught her life lessons that changed her forever.
“No matter how bleak and horrible it looks, at the end of the day, there’s always a sunshine that’s going to come up the next morning. I did lose my child. But he taught me so much in that year that I would never learn. He taught me about humanity and love and strength and just having a huge faith in God. And just to never give up, no matter how horrible it looks, that you can get through whatever you try.”
The care Trina experienced at St. Jude and from others now lives on in Cameron’s memory.
“During Cameron’s journey, there was a lot of foundation, a lot of people who backed us, who did anything they could to help us. So one of Cameron’s last wishes was that we pay it forward. So we started Cameron’s Cause in January after he passed away.”
Cameron’s Cause helps families dealing with childhood cancer in the Chattanooga area with some of the same comforts Cameron’s family received at St. Jude.
“We just want to make sure that no other family has to struggle. And we want to make sure people realize that childhood cancer is very real and that it’s out there and it can happen to anyone. I never would have thought it would happen to us,” said Bryson. “Cameron was a football player, wrestled, baseball, I mean he was just, an outdoorsman. And within a week, I mean, he was sick.”
Tickets for the Dream Home cost $100. All the money goes toward helping children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. No patient ever receives a bill, so families can focus on helping their child get well.
CALL NOW | 1-800-750-6962
Progress on the home is moving along and open house tours will begin on Saturday, May 20. The home will be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon – 5 p.m. through Sunday, June 18.
The house and several other prizes will be given away on Sunday, June 25 during a special broadcast on Channel 3.
Tickets are available online, by phone at 1-800-750-6962 or at Regions bank locations in Tennessee. Georgia residents can purchase tickets at a Regions bank location in Tennessee or by phone only.
Cameron’s Cause is hosting the 3rd annual Cameron’s Cause Memorial Fishing Tournament on Sunday, May 21. It begins at the Chester Frost boat dock. Registration runs from 5 a.m. – 6 a.m. For more information, check on the Cameron’s Cause website.