Camden’s fight to overcome osteosarcoma inspires his family to give blood

Camden and his family before surgery for osteosarcoma
Camden (in white) with his parents and brothers

Camden Bailey is a fun-loving, smart, 14-year old from Jackson, New Hampshire. An outstanding three-sport athlete, Camden is highly regarded by his coaches and teammates as a natural-born leader.

In January, with only two weeks left in his basketball season, Camden began experiencing pain around his left knee. A dedicated athlete and team player, he planned to power through the pain. It was probably just an issue with a ligament or muscle. He started physical therapy in February and felt it was helping. But at basketball tryouts in March, he hobbled around the court.

Camden’s parents, Jen and Chris, knew something was wrong. They made an appointment with Camden’s pediatrician the next day.

On March 18, after a series of tests, Camden was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, the most common type of bone cancer among children, adolescents and young adults. Jen and Chris were devastated.

Researchers at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s are leading a number of studies in osteosarcoma. Read more: What is osteosarcoma and how is it treated?

Camden was referred to Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center, where his care team wasted no time in coming up with a plan: Camden would first undergo chemotherapy, then rotationplasty, a partial amputation that preserves a cancer-free lower leg and foot, and then another round of chemotherapy.

The Baileys soon learned their son would need blood transfusions during his approximately eight months of treatment. Despite the chaos around them, they saw clearly the great need for blood and platelets for all children undergoing cancer treatment and vowed to promote the importance of giving blood. Chris kicked things off by donating blood in Camden’s honor at the Blood Donor Center at Boston Children’s Hospital on April 12.

Camden’s rotationplasty is scheduled for late June. He has his sights set on post-surgery when he’ll to be able to resume his active lifestyle with a prosthetic lower leg.

Find out how to donate blood.

The Baileys are very grateful for the support from their communities in both Jackson and Wareham, Mass. They hope their son’s fight heightens awareness of the importance of giving blood.