Palm Coast, FL (September 26, 2021) Coming off of a virtual event back to in-person can be a coin toss, but on Sunday morning, supporters of the Live Like Cameron Foundation were up bright and early to show their support for the organization dedicated to assisting Flagler County families whose children are battling childhood cancer.
Teams gathered in Central Park for the Flagler Warrior welcomes to the sounds of the Flagler Palm Coast High School band, accepting well-wishes amid the cheers from friends and the community before heading off on the family-friendly Live Like Cameron Flagler Warrior walk and 5K around the lake.
Helping the Fulling family organize the fourth annual event, Palm Coast resident Judy Mazzella has a special place in her heart not only for the memory of Cameron Fulling, who passed away in April 2017 just before his 10th birthday, but another young cancer warrior – 15-year old Connor McLaughlin, who became an angel in January 2019.
“Seeing what these kids go through and what the families go through is just horrible and I want to do whatever I can do to help support them and show them that we’re all here for them,” said Mazzella.
Designing the logo for this year’s Flagler Warrior 5K and t-shirts, Flagler Warrior Toni Musselman was happy to cheer on the participants during the event.
“I was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, leukemia, and I fight for my family,” said the Daytona State College student, while proudly expressing her support for the foundation.
“They did so much for me, so the least I can do is give back as much as I can. It feels great. I really appreciate that there’s so much support for the warriors in the community,” said Musselman.
Decked out in gold and a sassy boa to bring flair to the event, 16-year old Flagler Palm Coast High School sophomore Esperanza Bass aka Essie, said she has been battling cancer for six years as a Flagler Warrior.
“I fight for my family, and Connor, he’s an angel. He was like my best friend. I fight for him and all the warriors here,” she said.
“Live Like Cameron is important to me because they’ve been there, from the beginning,” she said. “They have a beautiful angel and they know what goes on, so they are there for support. There are tough times but it shows us that we’re not alone and there’s people here who are supporting us and fighting with us.”
Community Support Comes In From All Sectors
The family and foundation have inspired love and support in the community beyond just annual events, and Michael Granam, owner of Good Vibes Nutrition in Palm Coast, hosts seasonal fundraising events for the organization in addition to attending the Flagler Warrior 5K, along with his brother Mark Granam, owner of Mobil Mark automotive services.
“When you have the time, money and/or health to do good, do good any way you can,” said Michael Granam.
“These children did not ask for cancer. Their parents did not ask for their children to have cancer. Therefore, after having two healthy boys, it’s our mission to do good by helping any way we can to raise awareness, along with physical support, emotional support and financial support.”
Just learning about the event this week, young professional Jonathan Gambrell and his father Perry Gambrell walked on Sunday morning in honor of Jonathan’s younger brother Brad, who passed away from non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2003, a few days short of his high school graduation at the age of 18, after a three year battle.
“We love to support anything that fights childhood cancer,” said Jonathan. “We were so happy to hear about this.”
Perry Gambrell hopes to see a cure for childhood cancer in his lifetime.
“This cause is very close to our hearts, obviously,” said Perry.
“The situation that we’ve seen in our experience is that childhood cancer research is woefully underfunded. There’s a lot of research that needs to be done, specifically with the childhood cancer because they’re different, not the same cancers that you and I will be subject to. That’s one of the things that this whole childhood cancer world is focusing on, is more research into the cancers that affect children, because with the kids you’re not just losing the kids, you’re losing all those years of their future.”
Support Through Out The Year
The Live Like Cameron Foundation was formed after Cameron’s passing and reminds those who come in contact with the family or hear his story to live life to the fullest, as he did, in spite of his illness. To carry on his legacy, the Fulling family assists Flagler County families battling childhood cancer financially, and provides Bags of Hope, tailored to each individual child, at the cancer centers in Orlando and Jacksonville.
Parents Daniel and Melisa Fulling were grateful for the turnout Sunday morning and the additional support shown by the community throughout the weekend, which began with a booth at the Flagler Palm Coast High School homecoming game, and included a golf tournament on Saturday and the Flagler Warrior 5K Sunday morning and post event fundraiser at Tortugas Florida Kitchen & Bar in Flagler Beach on Sunday afternoon.
“This year actually exceeded my expectations. I thought with COVID you never know who is going to show up, but we had a very good turnout,” said Melisa Fulling.
“I love it. Just having the support, I know not everybody can help financially but even the emotional support, I love it,” she shared with gratitude.
To find out more or provide a gift, please visit www.LiveLikeCameron.org.