A Cane’s Fight with Cancer — and her Victory


Katie Cox, Writer

Cancer affects an estimated 15,780 children between birth and age 19. Approximately 1 in 285 children are diagnosed with cancer before their 20th birthday, and over 300 thousand children are diagnosed each year. 

Cancer is defined as “a disease caused by uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body.”

The top three most common childhood cancers are Leukemia, brain and spinal cord tumors, and Neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that forms within nerve cells. There are more than 100 types of known cancers, and odds are, there is someone you know living with the disease.  

Several students at Cartersville have battled or are battling cancer.

Sophomore Camille Waddell has been living with Rhabdomyosarcoma since the middle of her first semester, freshman year. 

“October 20, 2017, was the day I found out,” she firmly stated. “We were in [softball] regionals.” 

Camille received the news at a doctor’s appointment in the morning, then came to school so she could comfort her friends, who were crying when they heard. They needed her, so she came.  Camille is that type of friend. That type of young woman. She is a giver.

She is also a fighter. 

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare type of sarcoma that makes up 3% of all childhood cancers. Sarcoma in general, is a cancer of soft tissue, connective tissue, and bone. 

Camille’s began in her abdomen. What she believed would be a simple surgery with absolutely no hint of cancer, turned into a year-long fight involving multiple hospitalizations, chemotherapy, neutropenia (low white blood cells, which fight infection) and anemia (low red blood cells, which carry oxygen to organs). 

Her final PET scan on December 27, 2018 revealed that Camille was cancer free, and she was ecstatic.

She is thankful for family, friends, and the school for support during her fight. The 504 Plan, a plan ensuring that a child who has a disability under the law will receive appropriate accomodations  and successful learning environment, was one way the school was understanding.

And successful, she was. Camille excelled in all her classes. But most successful of all — Camille has been off all treatment since January 3rd of 2019.

Camille Waddell is a fighter. Camille Waddell is a winner.