I wrote this back in July of 2005 while Cammie was in Guatemala. However, I made the unfortunate mistake in asking Judy to proof-read it. She did and then told me NOT to send it until I had Cammie’s permission. And then Steph and Amanda ganged up on me too and I decided that with this much “advice”, I ought to listen to it. I thought Cammie might kill me for writing it, but I almost got killed by the other women in my life instead. Cammie liked it, but was not ready for me to send it. It sounded too much like a “solicitation” of some sort to her. I assured her it was not. And, in fact, that if she remains single the rest of her life, that is fine too. Just this past week Cammie made a few adjustments to what I wrote and OK’ed it to be sent out.
Cammie was born June 9th, 1979 on a very hot day in Khartoum, Sudan, at a Catholic hospital, an oasis of mercy in that dry, dusty and very needy city. And I know, because I was there, that one of the very first prayers uttered by her mother was for her future husband. And we (but particularly she) have prayed for that husband-to-be ever since.
Recently Cammie turned 26. I have now begun to ramp up my prayer in this regard. And I hope that by the time you finish what I have to say you will join me.
Three times we have met with doctors who are world-class experts in their field who have told us that her chances of surviving the particular cancer that she had or that had recurred were slim to none. And in at least two of those occasions you could eliminate “slim”. She is a living, loving, walking, talking miracle.
How would you describe her life? I would describe it as somewhat traumatic–a roller coaster of chemo, hospitals, medications, operations and doctor appointments. It has not been a normal life. At all. In the process of some 14 or 15 operations and invasive procedures (I have lost count now) she has lost body parts that make a woman a woman, and has other parts that are not exactly factory original, most of one lung is gone, and she has endured several lifetimes worth of pain. When she was 21, at the first recurrence, the doctors operated and felt they could safely leave her ovaries (but nothing else), her two younger sisters, Stephanie and Amanda, each volunteered to carry her baby for her, when the time comes, since she cannot. (For some strange reason, that love for their sister still makes me want to cry).
My question, as a dad, is: “Will her two sisters get that chance?” What about that special guy she needs to meet first? And, in her case, a very, very special guy. One who fully understands the risks he is taking and considers all risks well worth it (Cammie stands a 5 times greater likelihood of some sort of recurrence in her life than a normal person). Someone who chooses her, the real her.
Hey, you, whoever you are and wherever you are, you are going to get far more than you ever hoped for. You are going to get depth of character. A love for the Lord. A passion for the lost. Compassion for the hurting. You are going to get one fine gal, beautiful in every way. And you are going to get in-laws that have been praying just for you for a long, long time.
But you don’t have to believe me. Ask her mother.
Steve Van Rooy