Cameron Strobel: Putting Her Best Feet Forward
Kristy and Michael Strobel were starting to lose hope. After seeing numerous specialists for their daughter’s toe walking over the past few years and spending countless dollars on physical and neurological therapy, Cameron showed no improvement.
When she started kindergarten this school year, Cameron could not keep up physically with her classmates and was constantly falling and picking herself up. Making things worse, she would see other children laughing and pointing and was constantly being asked why she walked that way.
“As a parent I would see others staring,” says Kristy. “It would bother me, but we had been through worse with leukemia, so we marched on.” Cameron was diagnosed with leukemia in 2012.
During a routine checkup for the Strobel’s youngest child, in which Cameron was present, their pediatrician referred them to Dr. Henry Chambers at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego for Cameron’s toe walking. It was a moment that would change the family’s life.
After five weeks of seeing Dr. Chambers, Cameron was walking properly — on her feet. And on the morning of May 13, she went to school as a new person.
“As I drove her to school, she said things like, ‘I feel normal like you, Daddy and Kiley,’ ‘I can’t wait to show everyone my new feet,’” Kristy says. “As you could imagine, by the time I entered the school parking lot, I was an emotional wreck. I wiped my tears away and got her to class. Seeing her walk in hand-in-hand with her teacher (who was also in tears) was beyond amazing. All of the parents were in awe, and I just watched behind my sunglasses, as the tears would not stop coming. This [was] a new chapter in our lives.”
The Strobels are beyond grateful for Dr. Chambers’ care, saying he worked a “miracle” for Cameron.
“I just want you to know that your work means more than you can ever imagine to our family and to our daughter’s well-being,” Kristy and Michael said. “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You have changed our lives and we cannot thank you enough. We finally have our girl back, and she is ready to face life stronger than ever!”
Excerpted from a May 2015 letter to Dr. Chambers from Kristy & Michael Strobel – “your biggest fans”