Overcoming the odds

My name is Cameron Williams and I was born with an “abnormal dysformative” condition that made me face a lot of challenges. I had surgery after surgery, which led to many hospital stays. My condition was rare and it baffled a lot of doctors. I have had more than eight surgeries from the age of six weeks old until the present. I am 17 years old.

Through all of my challenges, I also faced autism at an early age. A lot of people, including educators, gave up on me; but, my mother, Rosa Jones, never did. As a matter of fact, she became my biggest advocate. She believed in me and made me feel that I could accomplish anything I put my mind to.

Since about the age of six, based on my experiences, I decided I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon. I also wanted to make a difference in the lives of others who faced the same challenges that I have had in my life. 

In the spring, I received two letters both based on my GPA of 3.78 and my PSAT scores. One said I was accepted into the National Honor Society for 2010; the other invited me to the National Youth Leadership Forum in Medicine in Philadelphia. I was the first African American male from Ohio.

While attending the forum, I gained several leadership traits. I learned how to be confident, prompt, speak in public and, overall, how to be professional.

I had the opportunity to participate in hands-on surgery- a gall bladder removal and total knee replacement. I socialized with other scholars from around the world. I lived at Villanova University while I was in Philadelphia.

While I was there, I went to the University of Pennsylvania and petitioned for a scholarship. I had the chance to go to Delaware and New Jersey to visit various hospitals to enhance my medical knowledge.

I would like to give a special thanks to all the people who, with their donations, help to sponsor this trip. God willing, I hope to be able to attend the Global Youth Leadership Forum, which will be in Spain and I will be seeking donations for that.


Cameron Williams is an aspiring orthopedic surgeon, who lives in Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 3, Issue 9, Posted 9:06 AM, 08.03.2010