Upcoming annual race supports Cammy Can campaign

Cammy_Can_Cartoon_COLOR.34994704_stdBy Diana Leane
Executive In-Depth Editor
Girls’ cross country coach Pete Wintermute has passed many milestones with his friends that he met in college. From everyone marrying to the start to having children, the group stayed close by frequently throwing dinner parties.
The first couple to have a child had a daughter named Cameron Babiarz who acted like a normal baby for the first eight months until she began to develop slower than normal. After Cammy was brought in for testing, her parents discovered she had a rare disorder that affected one in 10,000 babies called Rett Syndrome.
Girls’ cross country has helped fundraise and raise awareness for Cameron’s cause called Cammy Can by selling t-shirts and hosting an annual race called the Prospect Prance. The race will be held October 13th at Prospect High School near the tennis courts and will begin at 9:30 am. In order to purchase a shirt, contact Wintermute. For more information, read the information below.
Prospect has hosted the Prospect Prance for eight consecutive years, but the race didn’t become a fundraiser and way to raise awareness for Cammy Can until four years ago. The girls’ cross country team has created many memories through fundraising for Cammy Can.
Senior Hannah Getschman’s favorite memory was when Cammy came to the run and met all of the girls and the Babiarz family thanked them for their support. According to Wintermute, Cammy came to the race two out of the four years it was in her honor.
Getschman has seen that the race helped the team bond because everyone was trying to raise awareness for the same cause. Wintermute has seen that the race has taught the girls an important lesson.
“[The race] makes us aware that we have pretty good lives,” said Wintermute. “Sometimes our struggles that we think are so insurmountable [aren’t and,] in the big scheme of things, we got it pretty good.”
The end goal is that by raising awareness for Rett Syndrome, there will be more funding for research leading to doctors discovering a way to reverse Rett Syndrome. The effects of Rett Syndrome that affect Cammy prevents her from leading a normal life.
Although Cameron is five-years-old, she is unable to talk, walk, or use her hands. She is cognitively developed so she understands what people around her are saying and she has feelings like every other five-year-old. Cammy uses a computer to communicate through software that allows her to select what she wants to say by where she looks on the screen.
Rett Syndrome mainly affects girls because most boys with the disorder die at birth. According to Wintermute, her family jokes that this proves how strong she is.
“As her family says, ‘She’s stronger than all the guys out there because she can survive it,’” said Wintermute.
Wintermute and his wife had a son shortly after Cameron was born and never expected either baby to be one in 10,000. However, Cammy can hopefully become free of Rett Syndrome if a cure is found. Her parents hope one day she can walk and run like everybody who runs the race in her honor.
“As a young parent you just thought every kid was going to be born normal and be perfect,” said Wintermute.