Caring for the Camerons
Matthew, his wife Tatiana "Tajci" and their three boys toured the US for 15 years and completed over 1,000 FREE concerts. They inspired hundreds of thousands of people to heal, have faith and believe that with God all is possible. She performed, he booked and managed the tours.
They decided to stop touring extensively and find other work after their boys expressed their desire for a "normal high school experience". Tajci would continue to perform and develop other work that would allow her to stay close to home (wakinguprevolution.com ). Matthew began to develop a video-marketing company Stormlight Pictures which was just taking off when they got this devastating news. As it's with all solopreneurs, there is no security, no steady income, no sick leave, no benefits other than what their own work brings.
Matthew and his family need financial assistance to pay medical and living expenses that lie ahead while they focus on battling the cancer.
Read Matthew's beautiful letter (below) in which in his own words he expressed his thoughts, hopes and needs...
A note from Matthew:
Hello humans on planet earth!
You are, by far and away, my favorites. I've led an interesting life which, by the sounds of it from our meeting with my Oncologist yesterday, might be over soon. But don't worry, I figure I've already lived five lives' worth of adventure, laughter, joy, work and (I feel this immensely today) love in my 46 years.
I'm not a goner just yet, and am still the most "full of life" person I know - and I plan to fight this cancer with everything I have (and everything science and good healthy food and love and miracles have to offer).
Turns out I have the "most common" lung cancer for non-smokers (I was shocked that there WAS such a thing). It is called adenocarcinoma of the lung. I am stage four (which means it has spread from the lungs and "generously" seeded itself around my body - so kind!)
We are hoping that I might be a match for some sort of trial or immune therapy things (forgive me - I don't speak cancer very good...er... well). That said, the normal route is chemotherapy. The average life expectancy for someone in chemo with this cancer at this stage is one year. That, to me, is a bit bleak.
To all of you people like me who have chosen not to smoke, do drugs and live healthy lives, you might think this is a raw deal. But consider that I've been to 28 countries (you can read about my pre-marriage travels here: The Tumbleweeds) and have personally booked, driven to, set up, and torn down over 1,000 concerts (in all but three of the contiguous states).
I also married a pop star from Croatia named Tajci (pronounced Tie-chi) which led to more travels and adventures! And I have three wonderful, handsome, intelligent and balanced sons (Dante Xavier - 16, Evan Amadeus - 14 and Blais Ludvig - 11).
- I grew up in Indiana and fulfilled my dream and learned to surf.
- I proposed while waiting for the sunrise under the Hollywood sign in LA.
- I've watched countless sunrises from Mount Sinai to the plains of Kansas.
- I've earned and lost a fortune.
- I've fought - hard - for my marriage and it is my proudest accomplishment today.
"They" tell you to have enough set by to cover your expenses for three months in case of emergency - we do.
I also have life insurance.
The trouble is, and it will come, how to 'get by' when I become a burden and before the end.
I spent my life helping others achieve their dreams, goals, plans. (Most people I worked with leaned towards artists, entrepreneurs and people pursing a passion, seem to have a "thing" that drives them.) Most of that time I also wondered "what is my "thing". It was not so very long ago (while listening to Simon Sinek's "Start with Why") that it finally came to me that my "thing" was people.
I think people are amazing - my favorite. To that end, I started Stormlight Pictures and the concept "FilmYourWhy".
If you are a human on earth, I can say with almost perfect certainty - I love you.
If you can take a minute and say a prayer for me, send me some positive energy and/or, if you have the means, kick in a few bucks to take off the financial pressure in this time of uncertainty - I'll be personally grateful.
If you can, alternatively, book my INCREDIBLY talented wife Tajci (Tie-chi) for your event (whether it be jazz standards, or a talk, or a workshop or concert in your church) that would be wonderful. (You simply cannot imagine how much it would ease my mind to have two concerts a month for her lined up for the next two or more years.) Click here if you'd like to help!
OR... let me help you tell YOUR story and promote your business. (I told you I was still full of life :) Visit www.StormlightPictures. com and check out our commercials, music videos and stories. Our work is designed for the modern world and to be deployed on social media and youtube. Once you look, you'll see that my love for you translates into helping you connect with your potential audience or customer.
My goal here wasn't to write and to pitch you. I'm a "do-er" and a worker. I'd rather earn my bread than beg for it. But, in all humility I have to tell you I'm begging (just a bit) for your help. I'd love for you to put me (Stormlight) to work or for you to book Tajci. If that isn't possible and you'd like to make a donation - I'll be personally grateful. Mostly, pray for us.
God bless each and every one of you reading this!
I wanted to once again thank you for your support during Matthew's illness. We believed in his healing so much, and we did everything we could. You, us and his medical team - together. God was present in every moment of that hard, hard year... and in the end, although he didn't receive physical healing, Matthew passed away a loved man - unafraid, grateful and always trying to help others - inspiring us and encouraging us to do the same till the last minute of his life as a 'human of the Earth.'
Since his passing, I've done my best to honor the grief and not run away from it, numb it or distract from it. Each day is a new challenge. The empty spaces Matthew left behind are many...
One of the biggest challenges for me now is balancing being a single parent and work. My mom spent the entire last year with us but had to return home to Croatia just before Easter. However, I am able to continue to work and travel with my music/ speaking engagements because all boys are very responsible and independent young people!
Before he passed, Matthew told us he wanted us to keep living with the same love for life as he had. He wanted us to follow our hearts, be courageous and travel... (His favorite quote was by C.S. Lewis: "Not all who wander are lost.")
Recently my kids and I “wandered” to Austria.
The time we were able to spend together to renew our souls is one of the most precious gifts we were given along this journey.
With every moment we spent in the beautiful countryside, I said a prayer of gratitude for all of you.
Gratitude for your love, for your prayers, and for your most generous and steadfast support of our family. Your support- in the physical, emotional, and financial sense-has made the “unbearable” somehow “bearable”. As I am finally able to sit down and begin to tackle the mounds of paperwork that have been piling up, I am awestruck at just how fortunate our family has been to have had the monetary
blessing of not only close friends and family, but strangers we have never met. Again, as I sit here and type these words, I say a prayer of gratitude for each and every one of you.
Most of the money we raised was spent on Medical expenses, substituting the income Matthew wasn't able to bring in (because of a tax filing mishap, he wasn't eligible for disability) and on helping Matthew to feel as comfortable as it was possible - the pain he endured was incredible... Whatever was left at his passing (about $20K) I used to pay off the rest of the medical bills (it's amazing how they STILL keep coming!!!) and some of the funeral costs.
So, once again, thank you for your generous support, your love and your continuous prayers!
Here is a song I recorded last week. It's a cover of "Never Forget" from Murder on the Orient Express movie. I hope it brings you some comfort as it did to me...As you listen to it, know that I am forever grateful for all of you reading this.
"Matthew Shane Cameron- no more in pain. No more bound by human limitations. He is truly free now...
We will draw strength and joy from all he is and has given to us.
Dante made this video for his birthday this year...it is simply titled "father".
Click on the link below
Rest in Paradise, Matthew.
***Update from Tajci-- Please continue to keep Matthew, Tajci and the boys at the very top of our prayer list-- God Bless each of you reading this for all of our love, support and prayers for this family! Jen
"Last Friday, after spending two weeks in the hospital - monitored by his team of CAR T-cell research doctors - Matthew came back home. His doctor was optimistic and hopeful... She wanted to give him opportunities for finding joy in life again - like watching movies with kids, hearing them laugh and talk and play video games. Like sitting down for our family meals and giving thanks together. Kids were excited, I couldn't wait to have him home, sleeping next to me again. I rented a wheel chair so we could take him outside because he LOVES fresh air. The hospital was getting depressing for him. Matthew's parents Rosemary and Gene stayed with him 24/7, for which I am deeply grateful (they are retired, they have an RV which they park outside the hospital to serve as their 'home base.' Plus Rosemary is a retired nurse so she has been on top of his medicines and procedures.)
The hospital is about 30 min from our house (when there is no traffic.) I go visit Matthew every day. But it's band season (for Evan) and college application time (for Dante) and 7th Grade time of life which always requires so much of parental support (for Blais.) I am split between Matthew and kids.
And then there is work... In the past, our income was coming from my concerts, which Matthew booked. I haven't been able to transition and find another booking agent when Matthew got sick.
I work on booking concerts, performing, and finding other sources of income - I just published a book "25 Gifts for Christmas" and in January, I'm launching an online course '5 Steps of Transformation' - which contains all the tools I use now when every day requires an ability to transform - fear into trust, pain into offering of love, uncertainty into gratitude for what we have right now.
I'm hoping many people will take advantage of what I've learned through years of struggling with my dad's cancer, my depression/ anxiety and now journeying with my husband - because despite all of it, I still found ways to do what I love to do, to heal deeper each day and uplift others along the way through my work (music and talks.)
Matthew was home for one evening. The next day he was picked up by an ambulance and taken back to the ER, and Intensive Care Unit from there... He couldn't get enough oxygen on his own - even with the oxygen machine we had at home... He was given antibiotics and soon was stable again.
Today, they are transferring him back to Sarah Cannon department.
He is tired and discouraged. He told me yesterday for the first time he thought that death is better than life.
We are not giving up. For as long as there is one breath left, we will celebrate life and focus on Matthew in his skin. And beyond that, we know that Life is always the only option. It only changes... never stops.
We are grateful for the support that we need..."
See attached video---
Also a link to HuffPost article about the whole journey:
Please continue to pray for him, especially that his body does what it needs to so that he is able to do the trial on OCT 6. Even in the midst of his suffering and pain he is always thinking of others. This is Matthew! Also please continue to keep Tajci and the boys in your prayers. It is so hard as family members to watch your loved one suffering yet powerless to do anything about it. So we step up the prayers for this beautiful, wonderful, amazing family!
In Matthews words...
"Its 3 AM- woke up and adjusted my (hospital bed) pillow. Unfortunately that amount of motion caused me to completely lose my breath (as if I were running up a mountain in thin air and could not stop).
Panic. Fear. Gasping. Massive effort to calm....
Nurse cranks up O2 and I focus.
Consider what I'm suffering I literally a part of what Christ suffered. The pleura around my heart filled with fluid. My heart is beating .... inside a vise. It cannot do its job well (understatement) and now ANY movement pushes me over the edge into not being able to breathe.
The good news is they will cut a "window" in the pleaura tomorrow allowing it to drain into my abdominal cavity. It should give me almost instant relief.
Friday they drained 2.25 liters of fluid (5 pounds) from my abdomen (cancer has spread to that pleura as well). Rather than give relief (which it did) it caused the heart pleura to get worse - fast.
Not fun. Scary.
But I feel confident this time they will patch me up and get me back on my feet shortly to continue to train for my Oct 6 trial.
Concerning the trial - it is my understanding that everyone else washed out. I'm the only one at the moment who gets to try.
Pray this setback doesn't also knock me out. Having a shot of hope and a date is huge to me!
Peace to you all - ESP those alone and afraid and effected by Houston and now Irma.
God bless us each
PS: I told Tatiana that she will finally, literally have a window into my heart after tomorrow (she cried). I told the Docs as well and they laughed!!"
This is when it hurts the most to be unemployed and not be able to give more to those who are always giving. Tajči was an idol since I sang her "Hajde da ludujemo" and "Moj mali je opasan" in first grade for school performance, but she is one of a kind who traded her stardom for the love of people and modesty, and is a leading example for humanity. I hope Croatian community in US remembers that and unites in helping.
It's always unexpected... And my heart is with your family. For the short time i knew you i became a fan and a friend you can count on! Sending you my best uplifting wishes and consider my house open for your needs. That what friends for- to be a help in such time. I do my best to promote Tajci for events, my gallery is for you to use for any promotion at any time! let's do Concert to Life while we all here. Invite friends and do fundraising there! I am with you.
Hey, Matthew. We met you guys last year around this time and you and Tajci were so kind to our son Alex. Inviting him to stay with you guys and be interviewed with Tajci. What an amazing experience for all of us. We are so sorry, deeply sorry to hear of this present struggle you guys are going through. We will start praying like crazy for you and share some prayers with you. We have seen in the last couple of years some people be cured completely from stage four, but one of the main ingredients was total faith that it was possible, like no doubt. And we will help you guys financially when we can, since I have been out of work for a while too. God Bless you and your family!!
Strasno mi je zao Tajci, zaista je to tako tuzno i okrutno!! Prokleta bolest koja odnosi drage a umire se u bolovima. Uzas. Moja duboka sucut, tebi i familji. Izdrzi.....!!
Matthew and Tajci. We are praying. I just heard the news. I don't know where I've been :-( Please know you have been added to my daily prayer list and please let us know what we can do. I only have a little to donate at this time. Sending hugs from Idaho to your beautiful family.
Prayer for a Creative Miracle God of all creation, you who spoke a simple command and brought forth light from the darkness, we call upon you now to send forth your miracle-working power into every aspect of Matthews being. In the same way that you spoke unto the dust of the ground when you created humankind in your own image, We ask you to send forth your healing power into Matthews body. Send forth your word and command every cell electrical and chemical impulse, tissue, joint, ligament, organ, gland, muscle, bone and every molecule in Matthews body to come under complete and perfect health, strength, alignment, balance and harmony. It is through you that Matthew lives and moves and has a being. With every breath Matthew takes, he lives under your life-giving grace. We ask you to touch Matthew now with the same miracle working power that you use when you fashioned him inside his mothers womb. As surely as you have created Matthew in your image and likeness, you can also re-create him now and restore his health. Please fill Matthew with your healing power. Cast out all that should not be inside of him. We ask you to mend all that is broken, root out every sickness and disease, open all blocked arteries and veins, restore Matthews internal organs, rebuild any tissues damaged, remove all inflammation and cleanse Matthew of all infections, viruses and distructive forms of bacteria. Let the warmth of your healing love flood Matthews being, so that his body will function the way it was created to be, whole and complete, renewed in your perfect health. We ask this through our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
Tajci, strasno mi je zao sto ti se dogadja familji. Pomogli smo, uz tebe i tvoga supruga smo. Valentina je vrlo lijepo napisala......!!
Matthew I felt compelled by your story and situation to share this quickly. There is an MD in New York City named Dr Linda Issacs. She has a cancer protocol that is very effective for many types of cancers. My wife had breast cancer 20 years ago and declined the conventional treatment and is still alive and healthy. No drugs, no chemo, no radiation. Lots of supplements and detoxing and diet changes but you'll be healthier than you've probably ever been. My friend Pamela. Also cured of breast cancer. They have many patients with other cancers too who have outlived all th stats. If you are inclined to investigate I'll just say they don't like to treat people after chemo because it supresses the immune system and the treatment is based on supercharging your natural healing. So it's like a first resort. Here's the website http://www.drlindai.com I wish you many Blessings
We hear you. Thanks for sharing your latest news. We send our prayers to you and yours.
This is really tough on me, Matt. It's all so sudden. It was just last summer we were together and you were (seemingly) in perfect health. I pray for all of you, especially the boys. They need a dad growing up. So I'm praying for a miracle, too. And for Tajci on the road alone. Pam and I will be in Franklin May 13. We'll see you then. Much prayers, friend.
Keep the faith, Matthew. You are awesome!