‘Courage for Calum’ concert benefits 5-year-old with cancer

ST. GEORGE Kalamity and Kaos, a dance crew with a cause, are set to perform their final concert of the year for 5-year-old Calum Campbell who has cancer. The concert will be held Friday and Saturday with a silent auction and dinner beginning at 5 p.m.

The concert will take place at Hurricane High School, 345 W. Tiger Blvd., in Hurricane.

Calum Campbell undergoes treatment for his cancer, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of the Campbell family, St. George News
Calum Campbell undergoes treatment for his cancer, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of the Campbell family, St. George News

Since 2007, Kalamity and Kaos have danced “for a cause not for applause,” choosing a new person to help each year by hosting dance concerts and other events that put the fun back in fundraising.

This year the dancers have focused their efforts on raising money for Calum Campbell and his family to help with medical and other expenses accrued over the past year as Calum has undergone treatment for his cancer.

Calum’s story

A year ago, Cade and Jennifer Campbell received news that no parent ever wants to hear. Their youngest child, Calum, then only four years old, was diagnosed with stage 3 T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma, which initially included a mass three times the size of his heart in his chest.

Today, however, things are looking up.

Calum just finished his last major phase of chemotherapy at the Huntsman Cancer Institute and is now in the maintenance phase, which will last a year and a half, Cade Campbell said, explaining that at this stage, most children try to go back to school and return to a routine that includes some semblance of normal.

Cade Campbell said his son has remained strong throughout the whole treatment process, maintaining a sense of humor and entertaining himself well.

Both parents said the last year has been the hardest year of their lives.

But, Jennifer Campbell added, it has also brought “blessings beyond measure.” Immediately after her son’s diagnosis, she said, she realized what is really important in life.

“The day we were Life Flighted to Primary Children’s Hospital, I came to a new understanding of priorities,” Jennifer Campbell said. “No longer was I worried about the small, tedious tasks that come along with motherhood. My main concern was the health and well being of my children and husband, nothing more.”

The Campbell family dresses up as "Star Wars" characters for Halloween, location not specified, circa October, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Campbell family, St. George News
The Campbell family dresses up as “Star Wars” characters for Halloween, location not specified, circa October, 2016 | Photo courtesy of the Campbell family, St. George News

That realization of priorities has made her life better, in a way.

“It’s easier to not sweat the small stuff,” Jennifer Campbell said. “I have to not sweat the small stuff.”

Outside of his regular treatment, Calum has been hospitalized three times with life-threatening situations in the last year, each time for two weeks or more and each time, friends and strangers have reached out.

“There have been rides provided to and from school for our kids, meals brought in, laundry done, prayers on our behalf, gifts, gift cards, gasoline, bills anonymously paid and the list goes on,” Jennifer Campbell said. “People, friends, have made it possible for mom to be away, and dad to continue working during these times.”

The biggest impact the last year’s events have had on the family is the times of separation, Cade Campbell said. Family traditions have been put on hold, including family dinners with grandparents.

The couple’s seven other children had a difficult time at first but have learned to cope, Cade Campbell said.

The Campbell family has had to make a lot of changes in their lives to create a more conducive environment for Cade to live and heal in. One of those changes was a complete renovation to their home which provided more space for the family and for Cade to recover in.

The house, what Jennifer Campbell called “a sanctuary for our family,” was built from donations.

“From the tearing down, to the design and blueprints, the plumbing, electrical, everything has been either donated time, donated supplies, or donated money to pay for the needs,” Jennifer Campbell said. “The man hours that have been provided are immeasurable.”

When asked about the community support, Cade Campbell paused and became emotional, saying it’s been huge.

He said even perfect strangers have reached out to support the family.

“Courage for Calum”

At the beginning of the year, Calum Campbell and his family were perfect strangers to Kalamity and Kaos director Tia Stokes and her dancers, she said. But as the year progressed and the crew of dancers had an opportunity to serve the Campbell’s, Calum, his parents and siblings became like family to Kalamity and Kaos, Stokes said.

"Courage for Calum" concert flyer | Flyer courtesy of Kalamity and Kaos, St. George News
“Courage for Calum” concert flyer | Flyer courtesy of Kalamity and Kaos, St. George News

“You grow to love them,” Stokes said.

Throughout the year, the dancers who learn and practice at The Vault, have held monthly fundraisers including a charity dance concert in May to raise money for the Campbell’s. Friday and Saturday will be the final concerts for Calum, Stokes said.

Stokes has put together an entirely new concert with brand new dances and an assortment of special performances from inspirational community members, she said.

“The dancers have been practicing endlessly,” Stokes said.

The show takes place Friday and Saturday at Hurricane High School. Doors open at 5 p.m. with a silent auction and bake sale. Dinner will be available for purchase from Sonny Boy’s BBQ.

The show will kick off with a superhero show by performers from The Vault Fam Bam at 6 p.m. At 7 p.m. Kalamity and Kaos will take the stage for an exciting concert that is set to get the crowd clapping, dancing and enjoying the night, Stokes said.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from any dancer at The Vault or by calling 435-216-8974. Tickets will also be available at the door on the night of the performance.

Advanced purchase tickets are $5. Tickets purchased at the door are $10.

“It’s all about the love and support and the community coming together for this family,” Stokes said.

St. George News reporter Reuben Wadsworth contributed Calum’s story to this report. Wadsworth knows the Campbell family and in February he wrote a blog post detailing the Campbell family’s early battle with Calum’s cancer.

Event details

  • What: Kalamity and Kaos “Courage for Calum” concert.
  • When: Friday-Saturday, Dec. 16-17 | 5 p.m. bake sale, silent auction, dinner | 6 p.m. The Vault Fam Bam Superhero Show | 7 p.m. Kalamity and Kaos.
  • Where: Hurricane High School, 345 W. Tiger Blvd., Hurricane.
  • Cost: In advance, $5; at the door, $10; food prices vary; donations accepted.
  • Purchase tickets: Buy tickets from any dancer or by calling 435-216-8974 | Tickets can be purchased at the door.

Email: hreina@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

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