I haven’t posted in about 4 months for a couple of reasons. One, I’ve been very busy with the move to Virginia Beach and getting everybody all set up in the new place and stuff. And two, I was feeling superstitious. Because things had been going so well, I was afraid things would go south if I posted an update.

I know – that’s stupid. And it didn’t matter. Things went south anyway.

After December’s bout of MRSA pneumonia that almost took him out, and a delayed move to Virginia Beach in early January, Cam was on shaky ground. It took a couple weeks for the benefits of the lower elevation and warmer temperatures to kick in, but indeed, they did! For the most part, he didn’t need supplemental oxygen, his sleep machine settings were way lower, AND he didn’t get pneumonia.

Yay, Cam! Yay, the beach!

In February, he had a little set back when his platelets dipped, and he bled into his shunt (the tube that drains cerebrospinal fluid out of his brain and into his abdominal cavity, so he doesn’t get hydrocephalus, which puts more pressure on his brain). He stayed in the PICU for 10 days. It was a great way to get to know our new hospital in Norfolk, and to get a shiny new shunt at the same time.

In March, he had a little birthday party on the beach. Okay, so there were no kids there, because he didn’t know any yet, but his sister was in from college and that was more important anyway. And he got to ride in his new beach chair.

For most of March and April, he was the happiest and healthiest we’ve ever seen him. He was playing and laughing again, and even got to start back to school. His platelets still refused to cooperate, but he was breathing awesome and we’d found a medication that was apparently causing his bone marrow to make more platelets.

Then last Saturday, after an awesome family day to the movies (Super Mario Bros), he was a little weird at bed time. I cuddled him for a couple hours and put him in bed. At 3:30 in the morning, he woke me up crying and whining. His temperature was 101.6, his heart rate was 137, and he was not waking up for me. We took him straight to the emergency room.

A CT showed he was bleeding into his brain. He went straight to surgery to externalize his shunt (they redirected the tube so that it drained into a container hanging on an IV pole, so we could see what was in there). He got a platelet transfusion and moved to the PICU. He’d been through that before. We thought we were in the clear.

The next morning’s CT showed he was still bleeding into his brain. A LOT. They think the bleeding was probably from the tissue from where the brain tumor was. Those sad little brain bits were all tore up from the chemo and radiation from years ago, and now that it had started bleeding, it wasn’t going to stop. And even if it did, there was likely some new brain damage, and almost for sure he would bleed again. It was the first time I remember ever having a doctor tell us there was nothing else they could do.

Cameron Wesley Barrow died at 8:27 pm on Saturday, April 22, 2023.

We were able to get some family in to say goodbye in the days leading up and Kris and I were with him as he passed. Although we are still in shock — and I don’t know how I’m going to live without him — we do know we’ll have a celebration of life service some time this summer in Colorado. We’ll keep you posted on the details.

Thank you to all the people who read his updates, and who loved him. Many of you have followed his story from the very beginning, and you know how special he was. In his short time on Earth, he’s affected so many people, raised so much awareness for pediatric cancer and disability accessibility, and brightened so many hearts with his smiles and high-fives. He’s even donating his corneas.

Right now, I’m just crying, hugging his pillow, and trying not to throw up, but when the dust clears, Kris and I are going to pick up where he left off.

Cameron left the world a better place than he found it. His work isn’t done.

Hug your babies tonight.

RIP Cameron Wesley Barrow. I love you. Catch you on the flip side.

42 thoughts on “Update: Goodbyes”

  1. Oh Lauren and Kris, we are so saddened by this news. He lived courageously and had unimaginable strength. You all were amazing in the way you loved him and gave him the best possible . Sending hugs.
    Beth and Forrest

  2. There are no words to describe the feeling of losing a child. Your made his life the best ever! Prayers for your family and you.

  3. Words truly can’t express how sorry we are. We’re holding you in our hearts during this unimaginably heartbreaking time.

  4. I am heartbroken for everyone. He was a fighter and didn’t deserve this. My deepest condolences. Big hug

    Lee Proc

  5. Dear Barrow Family,
    What a lovely tribute to sweet Cam. He loved you and there is no doubt your family loved him and gave him the best life possible. Hold each other close. I am so glad you are all together. It will be great to celebrate his life this summer.


  6. Deeply saddened to receive the news from Tommy about Kameron. He and your family have been an inspiration to me and others and will continue to be. I will be holding you close in my and prayers.sending love to all of you.

  7. There are no words to express the sadness felt from your news. Cam was a special guy and he will live on in my heart. I will always remember his bright smile he always shared when we met on Tuesday mornings for coffee and writing. With all I have, I’m sending love and light to you, Kris, and the kids.

  8. Sending you all much love and strength to get through this ❤️ Cameron was a special little guy that touched a lot of hearts. Thinking of you all ❤️❤️❤️
    Love Johnna and Joe

    1. Margaret Piccinelli

      Goodbye little warrior.
      Sending warm thoughts to your family. He’s leaving a big hole…but his love lives on.

  9. Lauren and Kris, we love you. The courage and strength that Cam exuded in life is everything he knew because of you. Your love for each other, for family, and for life is an inspiration to us all. Cameron and smile could light up a dark sky, he will live on in the lives of so many. Sending love to you all, and praying for a peace that passes all understanding. Lean in, let your army of support carry you through this most difficult time. Xoxo.

  10. Lori Clodfelter-Martinez

    I’ve followed your journey and have always been so amazed by your (and Cam’s!) courage and ability to LIVE (not just survive) along the way! What am amazing testament to love! He was extremely lucky to have you guys and I know you feel extremely lucky to have had him! Sending prayers, love, and light your way as you heal your hearts!

  11. Thank you for sharing your story and Cameron’s journey. My heart aches for your family. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m thinking of you all. 💕

  12. Lauren

    I am so very sorry. Your strength and fortitude has been remarkable. Your story has been uplifting and empowering to so many of us. Can will never be forgotten.


  13. Oh guys! I’m so sorry! You are in my thoughts and sending lots of hugs from afar. All my love and healing vibes!

  14. Maureen Farrell

    Bridget let me know this morning about Cam’s passing. My heart aches for you all. He put up quite the fight. I’m sending love to all. Maureen Farrell

  15. I can’t imagine how hard that was to write Lauren. I am heartbroken about Cam. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers! ❤️ Cory & Jan

  16. Bridget Farrelll

    The Barrows have our hearts and love. Cameron was such a gift to anyone and everyone he met. I will cherish my high fives and smiles, and the cookie crumb smiles I’ve been had with him through the years. This light he gave will never dull. Love you all. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss.

  17. Marilyn Russell

    Dearest Lauren and Kris, you gave Cameron, that beautiful boy, everything he needed and all that was possible. My heart breaks for you, and I wish all peace and comfort in the days to come in knowing you fought the good fight. Love always to you and your family, Grandma Marilyn

  18. Mary Sue Nicklos

    Dearest Lauren and Kris, Brady and Carson,
    I’m smiling at the beautiful times your family has had, I’m holding you close for the hard times, and now I’m praying for your family’s bond to stay strong with Cam as each of you find your way forward. Your family is 💛 to 💛, Together Forever.
    Love from Mike and Mary Sue

  19. Dennis Faerber

    My deep condolences! God bless you all, and I pray he gives you peace and comfort. Cam was such a strong and brave little guy!

  20. Brave Cam touched so many lives, including mine. God bless him in his next peaceful chapter. Sending love, prayers and condolences to all

  21. We have been following Cam’s story for years through Lorna and are so humbled at his spirit, his effect on others and his whole story. Just heartbreaking to lose him and we want you to know that we continue to lift you all in prayer and love.

  22. Stephen Searcy

    Very sorry to hear this news. Your love and care as well as the family thoughts and prayers provided Cam an environment to be envied by many who are less fortunate. His memory and time spent with all who were graced to meet him should bring joy and defines true loving care. May God’s love help guide you through.

  23. Mary Beth Eversole

    We love you. We are sending all the strength, hugs, and love we can muster. Rest in peace sweet Cam. You were such a bright spot in this world.

    1. Lauren and Kris, I can’t imagine what you must be feeling. Cam was and is an inspiration. Love to you all❤️

  24. Ross & Sally Wabeke

    Thank you for sharing. Our hearts ache for your loss. We are praying that you feel peace and are comforted. ❤️
    Cam was in inspiration to so many as are you all.

  25. Michael McComber

    My dear Lauren and Kris. I’m writing this note really not knowing what to say. I’m holding the bee that Cam gave me at the end of his first-grade year and sobbing. It will always hold a very special spot in my heart. I know that your hearts have been broken in a way that parents should never have to feel. Cam touched my life so much too being in my class. I will never forget when he played possum or he slept soundly in my arms. I’ll never forget when he was driving in his wagon, and I told him we should both escape but he had to drive; his whole face lit up. I’ll remember that I think green was his favorite color. He fought so hard. He is already missed. Much love, hugs, and prayers to all of you in this very sad time.

  26. Lauren and Kris,

    Brendan and I are so incredibly sad for your loss. Cam was such a special boy! We loved him! I know he is at peace and comfortable. I hope that knowing that brings you and your family some comfort. We will never forget him! <3

  27. Kris, Lauren and Family,

    Our hearts are just broken for all of you tonight. Cam was such a sweetheart. He was loved by our family so much. We are sending heartfelt prayer to you and your family tonight. I know in my heart that Emily was waiting in heaven for Cam and welcomed him the moment he arrived.

    All of our love,
    Kelly and Wendi Lindsy

  28. Blue and I are heartbroken for your entire family. Cam was lucky to have you as parents (as were you, lucky to have him). God bless.❤️

  29. Lauren, Kris, and all of the Barrow family,
    Cam and your family have had an amazing impact om so many people, including Sandie and I. It was a privilege to have followed Cam’s journey in this world from the being and to have met him a few times. The love and the strength that all of you demonstrated to the world is an inspiration to me in my own time of grief and loss.
    Over the years, I have told many of my friends about your amazing family, the strongest that I have ever met.

  30. Stephanie Lombardi

    I am so sad to hear of the news. He was loved by so many and was so inspiring. Everyone that met him just fell in love with his big smile and I will always remember his stellar dance moves. Sending all my love to the whole family.

  31. James and Kristen Blyn

    Lauren and Kris,
    We are truly sorry for your loss. We cannot fathom the sorrow of losing a child. Every moment is precious and it all goes by too fast. We pray that in time you find peace and comfort knowing his life, although too short, touched many in a positive way and that he can now find rest.

  32. Allison L'Hotta

    Oh Lauren, I’m heartbroken for you and the whole Barrow family. Cam certainly changed my life for the better and I know I’m by no means the only one. What a gift he has been to all of us for the past 7 years. Sending you all a giant hug.

  33. Kenya A. Howard

    Lauren and Kris-

    My deepest sympathy for the loss of a Viking known as Cameron.

    I was honored to support and volunteer in his World Cultures class with Mrs. Kate Bufton at Mountain View Elementary School in Parker, CO.

    He was always a ray of sunshine with such a beautiful smile.

    I have always inquired about updates on Cameron and have kept him and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

    Know that he has fought the good fight and has gain his angel wings in heaven to look over you and your family as well as the many lives he touched.

    May God’s blessings, grace, and mercy comfort all of you in this hour of bereavement.

    Keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers today and forevermore.

    Kenya A. Howard and Kameron A. Piggee~

  34. Steve Paulding

    I’m saddened to hear this. I really enjoyed teaching and getting to know Cam at Mountain View. I was hoping with all of my heart that the move East would help to make things better. My deepest condolences. Steve

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