August 4, 2014:
Campbell (Cam) Hoyt from Bernardsville, NJ had been battling Ependymoma, a brain and spine cancer, since August, 2009. She was just 3 years old when she was diagnosed and her battle fighting multiple recurrence of aplastic Ependymoma was a very difficult one, as there is no known cure. Making things even more heartbreaking is the hardship her family experienced as they learned that Campbell’s latest results indicated that she had experienced major disease progression and the Hoyt’s family insurance announced their refusal to continue covering her treatments.
Their luck took a slight turn for the better as awareness of the Hoyt’s insurance woes were made public through social media. Social media continued to work for Cam’s needs as generous donations from local communities generated funds in excess of $47,000 in JUST ONE DAY. This was a great help in lifting the family’s financial burdens. Through sheer tenaciousness the many people who’d become connected to Cam’s story, pressured the insurance company to reverse their decision, which resulted in the insurance company agreeing to once again cover Cam’s expenses.
The power of what could be accomplished by reaching out through various media, gave Cam’s mother the idea to send out a Facebook plea to One Direction. It had been indeed Cam’s wish for the last 3 years to meet them, especially Harry, Cam’s favorite. This is what she posted on her Facebook:
“Ok folks. Miss Cam has asked for one thing for the last three years- to meet 1D, in particular Harry Styles. We’ve tried every way we have had available to us. Time is short. If you know anyone who can help… We just are looking for a personalized video message to Cam from the boys. We’ve given up on a meet and greet. But to hear Harry and Niall and Louis and Zayn and Liam say “Halo Campbell. We hear you’re not feeling well… But we wanted you to know we think you’re beautiful”. and sing her fav 1D song ….that would bring the biggest smile to her face. So, Team Campbell -GO!”
Soon, friends, community, and One Direction fans got Cam’s wish out to the right people bringing wonderful results. Word DID reach Harry and he immediately sent Cam this tweet:
And it didn’t stop there. As soon as One Direction had arrived in the NJ area of the U.S. Where We Are Tour, Cam got her wish. Harry went to meet her in person. By this time, Cam was in a very weakened state and Harry’s visit was perfect timing, a real boost to her and the family.
Cam’s mom underscored that Harry genuinely wanted to meet Cam to bring some encouragement to her and her family. She said “He just wanted to make her happy. He was emphatic that he did not do this for publicity. He truly just wanted to meet Cam. He wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.”
Harry also made time for Cam’s siblings and took pictures with them. Siblings with a seriously ill brother or sister experience a very difficult time as the disease affects the whole family. So meeting Harry and spending time with him was uplifting for them as well.
Another surprise came for Cam and her whole family as Harry invited them to be special guests of One Direction’s at their WWA show that evening. All of the Hoyt family was able to experience Cam’s special wish about meeting One Direction. Cam’s health quickly deteriorated in the following days and she passed away nearly 20 days later on August 23, 2014.
To find out more about the cancer Cam battled and how you can help, please visit The National Cancer Institute. Donations in her memory can be made to Weill Cornell Brain and Spine org. #RIPCampbellHoyt