Plateau communities come together to support BLHS student with brain cancer

Panther Parent Pride organizes a grey out and miracle minutes during the upcoming Bonney Lake and Sumner boys and girls varsity basketball games tomorrow, Jan. 12.

Janet Tracey navigates through the full bleachers

Bonney Lake sophomore Camron Cozzi had just started the holiday break when his doctors gave him and his family the bad news.

What they thought were lasting symptoms of a concussion was actually Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, also known as DIPG, a rare and aggressive form of brain cancer that is typically diagnosed in children before they reach double digit ages.

Around 300 children in the US are diagnosed with DIPG every year, according to the Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorder Center.

The cancer is inoperable because the tumor is located in the brain stem, but radiation therapy and other forms of experimental chemotherapy have been used as treatment methods, although the survivability rate remains low.

“It’s really kind of ripped a lot of our kids up,” said Jesse Snyder, the athletic coordinator at Bonney Lake High School. Camron, 15, is a lacrosse player and his older brother a football player and wrestler. “They’re kids that people know, and people like,” Snyder continued.

While Camron’s prognosis remains poor, hope and community support hafs been high.

Panther Parent Pride organized a ‘gray out’ at Bonney Lake High School during Bonney Lake and Sumner’s wrestling match Jan. 6 hundreds of community members showed up wearing grey, a color representing the fight against brain cancer, to show their support for Camron.

Many crowd members sported shirts specifically made for the event, with a grey ribbon on the front and #TeamCamron on the back.

And instead of a half-time show at the match, volunteers traversed the crowd during a ‘miracle minute’ to see how much money could be raised in one minute for Camron’s medical treatment costs (click the link to donate to the Angel Wings foundation and the Team Cozzi support fund).

Panther Parent Pride’s goal is to raise $15,000, said Coy McElderry, the executive board president of the group.

And after the first round of t-shirt sales and money raised during the miracle minute, around $5,000 has been raised, he said.

“The family has been very involved in all of our subgroups,” said McElderry. Panther Parent Pride just wants to give back to that family, somehow, some way.”

McElderry also said some credit goes to Sports Connection and Sterling Athletics in Bonney Lake, who both contributed to the fundraising.

An anonymous donor also purchased 300 #TeamCamron shirts, he said.

Another, even larger gray out and fundraising event is planned for the Sumner and Bonney Lake boys and girls varsity basketball games tomorrow, Jan. 12.

The girls game starts at 5:15 p.m. at Bonney Lake High School, and the boys game begins at 7 p.m. There will be a miracle minute during each of the game’s halftimes.

More in News

Enumclaw’s Van Hulse to compete in national music showcase

Erik Van Hulse, who also goes by his stage name Siboh Nisoh, has been working toward this big break for almost as long as he can remember.

Pepper addresses ‘false’ recall charges in community meeting

The meeting, held at the Black Diamond library, was a chance for voters to have “an opportunity to hear from both sides before they decide to sign,” the recall petition, Pepper wrote in an announcement for the meeting.

Buckley Council race gets recount; results due Dec. 6

The closest general election outcome in Pierce County was found in Buckley, where a razor-thin difference in a City Council race forced a recount by the Pierce County Elections Department.

Burn bans in place for King, Pierce counties

The weather may be getting colder, but burn bans have been called for multiple counties — including Pierce and King — due to deteriorating air quality.

Enumclaw Council roster rapidly changing

A significant shake-up of the Enumclaw City Council is well under way. Soon to exit city government is Mayor Liz Reynolds, who opted against seeking another term after eight years in the city’s highest office. Already off the City Council is Jan Molinaro, who was elected to fill the mayoral post during the Nov. 7 general election and has stepped away from council.

Santa touring Bonney Lake, Sumner neighborhoods

Santa will once again be joining East Pierce Fire and Rescue around Bonney Lake, Sumner and surrounding communities to wish everyone happy holidays. He’s already toured Milton and Sumner, but there are still many more routes for him to complete before he heads back to the North Pole.

Grant money to fund Boise Creek project in Enumclaw

A plan to benefit Enumclaw’s Boise Creek is among 14 projects to receive funding through the state’s Department of Ecology.

Plateau toy, food drives make sure there’s a happy holidays for all

The holidays are a big time for fundraisers, whether people are donating money, food, clothes or even toys to those in need.

Most Read