In May of 2019, Camden Arthur, who embraced life, and loved hockey and sports, succumbed to his battle with cancer. This story was written in February 2019.
When it comes to hockey there might not be another eight-year old that loves it more. “He lives and breathes hockey,” says Mom, Sarah Arthur. And Camden still lives for it even as he approached the halfway mark in his 42 weeks of chemotherapy at the Cancer Centre of Southeastern Ontario in Kingston. In fact, as long as he has the blessing of his nurses and physicians, Camden or Cam as many call him, hits the ice with his Dad watching over him as coach and dedicated dad.
In June 2018, Camden Arthur was diagnosed with cancer when doctors discovered a tumour just behind his ear. His mom, Sarah Arthur, credits the quick actions by skilled physicians at Kingston Health Sciences Centre for his diagnosis and the immediate care he received there and at Sick Kids in Toronto. His physicians, both Dr. Silva and Dr. Wheaton, were brilliant, kind and supportive which made all the difference and continues to as Camden continues his cancer journey.
Cam is a brother to Mackenna and Mason, all three kids attend school in Napanee. He loves hockey, Sidney Crosby, the Pittsburgh Penguins and baseball. He has many friends, many from his various hockey teams, which are an important part of his life. He likes nothing more than joining his team on the ice for a game, even if they do not win all of the time, for Cam it is about playing the game. His desire to be his best and see his teammates succeed comes through at each practice and game. Despite his ongoing treatments, he hits the ice whenever he can.
After his diagnosis in Kingston, Cam and his family travelled to Boston for proton therapy. This type of therapy, only available in the US but covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, was recommended because it treats the tumour but is less harmful to the areas around it. Because his tumour was behind his ear this was considered the best route. Boston was hard for the family of five but it had some bright moments as they were treated to two NHL hockey games at the Boston Gardens and Cam got to see Sidney Crosby play.
Sarah, his mom, juggles three kids and part-time work, along with husband and Dad, Shane. She credits the care team at KHSC’s Cancer Centre for their ongoing support. “The clinic is like a security blanket for us, every time we come, it tells us Cam is getting better.” Their time in Boston was an important part of his treatment but being at the local Cancer Centre, which is a short drive from their home in Napanee, makes a world of difference. “Being close to home, we can ensure our kids get to dance class, hockey practice and games and we can help them with homework,” says Sarah. By receiving care close to home it also means that Cam can join his team on the ice, whenever he can, which lifts his spirits and lets him be the eight-year old that he is.
Cam always likes to do his best, whether it is on the ice or in the classroom, and he brings this spirit and resiliency to the challenge he is facing now. He is not alone; he has a supportive family, classmates, hockey and baseball team mates and the dedicated and skilled team at the hospital at his side. He does play centre, just like his favorite player Sidney Crosby, in hockey and life that takes a person who is willing to take the lead, be positive and be a great teammate. Even with setbacks during his treatment, he seems to find a way to smile.