Adam Campfield

AdamSeniorPicture.jpgBefore setting your New Year’s Resolutions for 2008 — Please take a moment to Meet Adam Campfield

It’s hard to know exactly where to begin because,  as you’ll soon learn if you continue reading, this is no ordinary story and Adam is no ordinary young man.   As in most beginnings or introductions I could begin by telling you some facts about Adam so here are just  a few:

 He is a gifted student and high school graduate with a 4.0 GPA

 Adam just recently completed his first semester in college as a Computer Science Major with another outstanding record of academic excellence. Update: Grades just in and Adam finished the semester with another 4.0! Way to Go Adam.

 After 8 years of intense training, Adam earned the prestigious Black Belt in Martial Arts.

What you don’t yet know about Adam is that he has accomplished all these goals and more without eyesight. Born in 1989 at around the age of one Adam was diagnosed with bilateral (which means both eyes) retinoblastoma, or cancer of the retina.  Following a grueling process including  surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, both eyes finally had to be enucleated, or removed, so at the young age of six, Adam Campfield became one of approximately one million blind individuals in the United States.

He is articulate, bright, funny, compassionate, and has a sense of wisdom way beyond his young age.  Although I spend  many of my days writing, I found it exceedingly difficult to find the right words to try to do justice to Adam so that you, dear reader, could get a sense of who Adam is as a person.  So, I’ve enlisted help and thought I’d share some thoughts from others who know and work with Adam in the hope that you will gain inspiration from this very special young man.

 In the words of one of Adam’s instructors at Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, Colorado,

“Adam manages to “see” more without his eyes than most of us who are sighted individuals.” What I did  not anticipate at the start was how much we were all (other faculty) going to learn from working with Adam. He’s helped us develop ways of explaining difficult concepts to other students, making  all of us better teachers. An empathetic and helpful individual, Adam is consistently there to assist other students or help those who may be afraid or in trouble. He works hard and inspires other students to do the same.  Immersing himself in tremendous challenges he’s consistently found ways to succeed and thrive.

Every one of Adams’ teachers has reported to me that Adam is a delight to have in class as a student. He listens, participates, and contributes. He challenges the class, keeping it alive and keeping us thinking. Outside of class he is michievous, fun and wildly creative. His dormates are deeply attached to him. Classmates who otherwise would ignore our encouragement to participate in department events come because Adam asks them.

“Adam may be the most amazingly courageous person I know. He battles barriers of all kinds with spirit and intention.”

Adam just recently found out that his cancer has returned. After the first of the year in January 2008, he will begin chemotherapy and will likely be looking at a possible stem-cell transplant or other type of treatment to fight for his life. If anyone can come through this, I am certain that Adam can, but because neither Adam nor his family would ever ask for help, friends and supporters of Adam have started this blog for him, to encourage him, to share updates of his medical condition and to ask for all your prayers and well wishes. For those who wish to help, we will setup a special section here on this blog which outlines some of the ways you can help Adam with the most important battle of his young life. Being diagnosed with cancer is difficult, and lonely and requires tremendous energy. It is our belief (Adam’s friends) that he should not have to go down this road alone and so we are asking for help in spreading Adam’s story and if you can take any time away from your holiday celebrations to send Adam a note of encouragement, then we would all be very grateful.

Blessings to everyone this holiday season. Thank you for your support!

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