Love. Fight. Win. Live.
High school junior AJ Camisa and his mom Robyn Campagne stood by these words during Campagne’s battle with cancer. Camisa formed his fundraiser, Team Robyn, to help raise money for Robyn the first time she was diagnosed with bladder cancer two years ago.
When Camisa found out about his mom’s cancer, his head began to spiral. He didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know how to respond.
“I just put myself in my room and was by myself and just thinking through my head: what can I do to help and make an impact through this, because it’s hard on me, but it must be so much harder on my mom,” Camisa said.
This is when Camisa was inspired to start his T-shirt campaign.
“It clicked in my head ‘Robyn the Superhero’. My mom is going to be a superhero when she’s going through this fight,” Camisa said.
While Campagne continued to be a superhero through her first battle with cancer, when her cancer returned and was diagnosed as metastatic, she struggled more because this type of cancer is much harder to fight.
“It [the cancer] somewhat defines you and becomes just a part of your lifestyle that you just continuously will have scans and doctors appointments. Sometimes the news will be good, and sometimes the news is not good. Living with cancer that has spread is just preparing yourself for all of the inevitabilities,” Campange said.
Even through the darkest times, Campagne and Camisa always stayed in the light.
“You don’t give up. The whole world can fall apart and you’ve just gotta keep trying. If you give up, you let the darkness win,” Camisa said.
Camisa and Campagne's bond continues to grow stronger through the continuous support of the community around them.
“The support of, specifically, the Groves community was really overwhelming. This was a time for AJ when he stepped into a new community with the theater program. Just as he got into this community, as I was diagnosed. That whole community just embraced him and created a family for him. And really gave him something to take his mind off of what was happening in our family. It gave him something to look forward to,” Campagne said.
After feeling this support from the theater community, Camisa knew he wanted to give back to the community in a larger way than his first fundraising campaign. Camisa extended his campaign to others in need, giving 50% of the earnings to the American Cancer Society. He has already raised over $1,700 just through his T-shirt. This February, Camisa is starting a Cans 4 Cancer drive to raise money for cancer research.
To get involved before then, donate through Camisa’s GoFundMe page or purchase Team Robyn T-shirts through the link below.