We honour our son, James - a personal journey shared by Ken and Chris Cameron
James Cameron was our son, a talented
local musician and a beautiful soul. He was a young man who loved to entertain,
who poured his heart into concerts and charitable events, and had ambitious dreams
as an emerging musician on the Nashville country music scene. But his dreams
weren’t coming true as fast as he’d hoped they would. On the outside it looked
like everything was going his way but inside he was a mix of emotions.
marked one year since we lost our beloved son to suicide because of mental
illness. In some respects it seems like just yesterday. His loss is so surreal.
While our pain is unimaginable, we want
people to remember James for his talent and his kindness. It’s why we chose to direct all memorial
gifts raised at a tribute concert in James’ honour to benefit music therapy and
speech therapy at KidsAbility.
Of course the first natural reaction would
have been to donate to a mental health organization and yes, there’s no
question as to the importance of their work. But we felt there was a more
pressing need at KidsAbility. James was always there for others – especially
his two nieces, Layla and Zofia, whom he loved fiercely. Sharing his love of
music with them meant everything to him.
Until two and a half years ago we
knew of KidsAbility only through their incredible work of helping others in our
community. But it all came rushing home when Zofia was born with profound
At only 5 month old Zofia seemed so young when she began receiving speech
therapy services from KidsAbility. We quickly realized that it was just what our
youngest granddaughter needed for the best outcome, and she began right away. It
was the first step for our daughter Jennifer and her fiancé, Martin, to
discover services and to practice speech at home.
just over two now and she’s talking like crazy. She and her parents now meet
with her Speech and Language therapist, Heather, for virtual speech therapy once
a month. Like many toddlers, Zofia gets easily distracted but Heather keeps her
engaged with screen activities, which she loves.
as grandparents to see Zofia achieve so much – she is a bright light and a
miracle. We’ve seen firsthand how speech therapy has helped and we know
KidsAbility’s work has only begun for her.
our family in a house filled with music. James and his older sister Britanie often sang together. Because music
means so much to our family we wanted to extend that experience to more children.
It’s why we also chose to support music therapy at KidsAbility School. We know
that music therapy can heal. If even one child finds their voice and is helped
through a difficult time, it’s what James would have wanted.
has been a tremendous support for our family. It’s our hope to call attention
to the needs of children with challenges in our immediate community and that,
by sharing James’ legacy, more children will benefit from speech and music
therapy at KidsAbility.
Ken and Chris Cameron - proud grandparents of Layla and Zofia, and sustaining supporters of KidsAbility
A note from Lisa Talbot, Executive Director, KidsAbility Foundation: The winter season can be
particularly hard on our mental health and even more difficult in our current
reality of this pandemic. Here are a few online resources to
support adult and youth mental health within our regions: