SALEM, Va. – The bad times make the good times seem so much better. Those words couldn't be any truer for Cameron Claussen. The oldest of four children, he's just like any other young boy you'd meet -- full of energy and loves sports.
"I haven't missed a sports season since I was like 3 or so," said Cameron.
But that recently changed due to heartbreaking news his family received at a doctors visit -- just a week before his 10th birthday.
"They asked if they could do a full blood panel test and we agreed and that's when we got the upsetting news that he had leukemia," said Becky Claussen, Cameron's mom.
"Getting that phone call ... man alive. The last news that you expected and certainly the last news you ever wanted to hear," said Cameron's dad Ralph Claussen.
While most would shrink back in fear, 10-year-old Cameron has been a pillar of positivity through it all.
"When I get a needle put into my arm to have blood work or something like that, I try my best not to flinch so that they know that I'm trying my best to be strong," said Cameron.
The community support has been endless for Cameron since his diagnosis just over two weeks ago and the Salem Red Sox helped on Thursday night.
With a new personalized Salem jersey, Cameron took to the mound and threw out the game's first pitch.
Gary Abbott, Cameron's football coach, sold "TeamCam" wristbands to raise money for Cameron's medical treatments.
"Just a really good kid and good athlete. You know, he's a lot stronger than I could be if I were in his situation and I think he's making everybody around him stronger," said Abbott.
Though chemotherapy treatment and other tests lie ahead for 10-year-old Cameron, his remarkable spirit and positive attitude will help guide him back to a path of winning -- on the court, on the field and more importantly in life.
"We have faith that he's going to beat this thing and get off the sideline in no time and be back in the game," said Becky Claussen.
If you'd like to help support the Claussen family, see the links below: