Cameron Winn loved Eeyore. Winnie the Pooh's sad sack  little donkey friend was just about the best thing in the world to this cute little boy who was so full of life. We first met Cameron when he was in the hospital. He had taken ill near to the time he was to begin the transplant process. His mother, Emily, and I had corresponded by email and we were in Fort Worth for Loren's checkup. 

 

I walked into the room and very clumsily introduced myself. After finally explaining who I was, Emily and her mother introduced me to one of the biggest one-year-olds I ever knew. He may have been younger than Loren, but he was a strong, stocky little kid. It was a joy holding him. It didn't take long for him and Loren to become friends and no wonder. Both children have something about them that just naturally makes you want to be with them.

 

Not long after that, the Winn's plans were changed when the donor became ill. They continued to search for a donor and wait at the Ronald McDonald house. 

 

We visited again in June 2001 and it was such a joy to watch the children play. Cameron performed many tricks, including falling off a rocking horse. As hard as he fell, I expected a lot of crying, but the little guy just got up and kept on going. He was a ball of energy. 

 

Cameron's mother, Emily, tells the story on his website of when he tried to put the tape in the VCR. He was putting it in backwards and it just wouldn't go. Emily told him to turn the tape around and try again. Cameron dutifully turned himself around full circle and then tried to put the still backward the tape in again. It still didn't work.

 

Kim, I and my children did not know when we left him that day that we wouldn't see him again in this life.

 

Just like Loren, Cameron was in Fort Worth for a BMT for Hurler Syndrome. Tragically, after the transplant he suffered a massive heart attack and 16 days after receiving what we hoped was his life giving transfusion of marrow, Cameron lay in his mother's arms and returned to Jesus.

 

Once again, a beautiful child was taken from the world. In general, children are wonderful gifts of God, but children with terminal diseases just seem to radiate love and gratitude for every little thing.

 

Jesus tells us to let our light shine so others may see it and these children are experts at following the Lord's wishes. 

 

We were all heartbroken at losing Cameron, but of course no one felt the loss more keenly than Emily, Allyson and his grandparents.  As Emily tells it, her first natural reaction was to ask, "Why God, why would you take this baby?! He is too young to die, he shouldn't have died! Why God?  After all we had to do to get here, why would you let him die?!"

 

As is so often the case, God did not answer Emily directly. Rather, He used the words of II Samuel 12:23 to shock Emily into the realization that He (God) was in control and Cameron had accomplished the purpose for which he was alive.  It was Emily's duty, and Allyson's also, along with the rest of the family and friends, to live their lives in accordance with God's plan for them.  It was their duty to believe these words of II Samuel 12:23, "...I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me."

 

These words, given to us in the Holy Bible were enough to spur Emily and the family into action.  Though not discussed here, during the long ordeal with Cameron's disease, Emily and her husband separated. Thus, Emily and Allyson were left to rebuild their lives after losing two very important parts of their lives. Thanks to God, though, they did not lose the most essential part - a loving and faithful Lord Jesus Christ.

 

They became highly active in their church. Through the guidance of a wise pastor and Sunday School teacher, Emily and Allyson have come to terms with their losses and have been able to move forward.  Even though they both miss Cameron still, Emily writes:

 

"I have found that I am a pawn for the Lord, so to speak, since Cameron died. It has been a work in progress, but I know that he is using me, through Cameron, to serve Him and love Him. I know that Cameron is the reason for that, and Allyson knows it also. She speaks as a true child of God, and I see Cameron in her all the time. We have both grown in our faith and grown in Christ, because of Cameron. He was our angel, truly Heaven-sent. He is my reminder that God is in control, so that is where we put ourselves, in his control."

 

The lives of Dylan and Cameron are just two examples of how even the shortest of lives can have immense effects on the lives around them. God took their lives, healed others and then brought them home to a truly deserved rest. But even in their return home, God used their influence to strengthen the faith of those who loved them.

 

When pain and loss occur in our lives, we always want to blame someone else.  Sometimes, we even have the right to place the blame on someone or something else, but God is never the one to blame. 

 

Instead, He grieves with us and asks us to give our grief to Him.  He wants to take our grief from us and fill us with the comfort of faith in Him.  When we learn by the examples of Dylan's and Cameron's families, God grants them and us a great gift - the gift of healing because of the death and resurrection of his son, Jesus.

February 25, 2003 was designated MPS Day by the National MPS Society in honor of another beautiful child named Katie Shine. Katie had another form of MPS called Sanfilippo Syndrome and February 25 would have been her birthday had she survived to 2003.  Because of her, a wonderful woman, Linda Shine, became president of the MPS Society and, along with a dedicated board of directors and volunteers, helped move us all closer to the day when MPS will be treatable and not deadly. Please take a moment to visit the MPS Society Web page and consider helping in the fight against this insidious killer of our children.

 

If you are interested in helping with efforts to save lives through bone marrow transplantation, please take a moment to visit the home page of the National Marrow Donor Program at www.marrow.org.

Jim McClelland is a CPA and author based in Shreveport, Louisiana.  He lives with his wife Kim and children Patrick, Patricia and Loren in Benton, Louisiana.  You can learn more about the topics in this article and his book Cookin' At Cook, A Babe in Transplantland at the website Loren's Place.

 

Click here to Read Part One.

 

PHOTO shows Cameron Winn.