Those who knew Cameron Fearon can’t help but express admiration for his upbeat attitude and generous personality. As someone who was diagnosed with stage four cancer his freshman year of high school, Fearon never allowed his disease to define who he was.
After being diagnosed with a metastatic melanoma — a form of skin cancer that can spread to other parts of the body and create tumors — the 19-year-old University of Georgia student died on Aug. 17.
A member of the UGA chapter of Sigma Nu, Fearon is remembered by his family, friends and brotherhood as outgoing and charismatic, regardless of his circumstances.
“There was no sorrow, he just kind of accepted it,” said Trevor Fearon, Cameron’s father. “He didn’t advertise that he was sick. Not at one point was he pointing fingers or blaming anyone.”
Fearon attended North Atlanta High School, graduating in 2017. He was athletic, playing for both the Top Notch Basketball Club and the NAHS basketball team. Throughout his cancer diagnosis and treatment, Fearon continued to play, attend summer camp and keep up school attendance, his father said. He graduated with a 4.0 GPA.
At UGA, Fearon was pursuing a degree in international business. According to Trevor Fearon, he attended the National Championship game between UGA and Alabama – a dedicated Bulldog, his father said.
Fearon was a “normal kid,” his father said, watching The Office and listening to Dave Matthews Band and 90s hip-hop music. He told his parents he could have done better in the class he took this past summer where he received a low grade. He had two brain tumors removed at different points during the summer semester.
“He was going through so much with his treatments, but he just wanted to be himself,” said Davis Baker, a friend of Fearon’s since elementary school.
Baker remembers carpooling to high-school graduation with Fearon, going on a spring break trip to Cancún and attending UGA together. He spoke at Fearon’s memorial service held on Aug. 26. Baker wanted attendees to understand how good of a friend Fearon was, regardless of his own struggles beneath the surface.
“He cared more about what you had to tell him rather than what he had to tell you,” Baker said in his speech.
Fearon’s girlfriend, Cacky Davis, said what she will miss the most is his smile, his hugs and his positive attitude.
“He wanted to meet new people and everyone he met loved him immediately,” Davis said. “I’m jealous of the people that got to know him for 19 years and I only got one.”
Fearon’s health did not show major signs of decline until this past summer, his father said. They took a trip to Sydney, Australia, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation and took a rafting trip in the Grand Canyon earlier this year.
Then, an incision left over from his brain surgery became infected. He had begun receiving whole brain radiation to remove tumors before this incident, which had also led to swelling all over his body. Overall, his family believes the cancer may have been hereditary.
“We were moving ahead. I didn’t think he would pass away so suddenly,” Trevor Fearon said.
His father remembers when Cameron started losing his speech, asking for water repeatedly.
“Or Bud Light,” Trevor Fearon said Cameron would say.
During the last two weeks of Fearon’s life, Trevor Fearon believes his son was ready for the end. His father remembers one of the last things his son said, while he could still formulate sentences.
“Yeah, I was a good kid,” Fearon told his father.
NAHS will award the “Cameron Fearon Award” to the player who reflects qualities of “talent, dedication, leadership and team spirit,” according to an obituary published in the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. The recipient will wear Fearon’s #10 in his honor.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to Camp Carolina, the boys summer camp Fearon attended for nearly nine years.