HADDON HEIGHTS — At 13 months old, Cameron Robertson was diagnosed with a very rare form of liver cancer. The official medical diagnosis was hepatoblastoma, a form of cancer only one in a million people contract.
Fifteen years later Robertson is cancer free. But it didn't come easy. He battled for years to get to where he is.
From the time of his diagnosis through 1998 Robertson had to undergo 15 rounds of chemotherapy. He also endured three surgeries in which he lost 80 percent of his liver.
"It doesn't matter to me, I want to be an athlete, I don't plan to drink alcohol anyway," Robertson said with a smile.
And what an athlete he has turned out to be.
Robertson a resident of Haddon Heights holds two school records in swimming, one in the 400 and 200 free relay. For years, Robertson was a competitve swimmer. But now he is ready to take on contact sports.
This fall Robertson will be the kicker and punter for the Garnets as they compete in Colonial Conference football.
For Robertson, getting here took a lot of work.
"I know what I need to do to be here, and I will work to achieve it," said Robertson. "I have my mom come out and video me, then go home and analyze the video to make sure my mechanics are correct."
Robertson knows how to ensure his mechanics are on track.
Last spring when he decided he wanted to kick for the football team, he went to San Diego to get specialized training. Robertson spent a week at Kicking World and was trained by owner Brent Grablachoff, a New Jersey native and four-year starter at Montclair State from 1999-2002.
Robertson has several people he credits as being his inspiration including his parents and grandfather. This season, he has a very special person to look up too. His cousin is Trey Burton who is wearing No. 47 this preseason for the hometown Philadelphia Eagles. Burton, a University of Florida product, is trying to win a roster spot as a tight end. Roberston already has his Burton jersey and has been at Eagles training camp to show his support.
"It is amazing that he beat the odds and is even out there, he is here every day working hard", said Assistant Garnet coach Paul Palmer. "If he helps us win by getting some field goals and putting points on the board it will be great for our team, but it is even better for him because he worked so hard to get here", Palmer went on to say.
Off the field, Robertson has decided to pay it forward. He is an official ambassador for Alex's Lemonade Stand helping to raise money for cancer research.
The Garnet kicker, who can hit 40-yard field goals and 50-yard punts, has another unusual quality: he is a left-footed kicker.
Look for Robertson and the rest of the Haddon Heights team as they open the season at home against rival Paulsboro on Saturday, Sept. 13 at 1 p.m.