Local boy gets wish granted, meets Baltimore Ravens
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 11:15

Dundalk boy meets favorite football heroes

by Nicole Rodman

    Eleven-year-old Dundalk resident Cameron Hood was just one year old when he had his first eye surgery.
    After a lifetime of battling eye disease and watching his sight slowly fade away, six months ago Cameron was diagnosed with cone rod dystrophy (CRD).
    CRD is a progressive eye disease causing the cone and rod photoreceptors in the eye to deteriorate.
    CRD begins with blurred vision, followed by a gradual loss of peripheral vision and, eventually, blindness. There is currently no treatment or cure for the disease.
    While Cameron does retain some sight, he is considered legally blind without his eyeglasses.
    Although he faces much bigger challenges than most children his age, Cameron remains active and upbeat.
    Though he is legally blind and suffers from ADHD, Cameron is determined to live his life on his terms.

Playing both soccer and baseball with the Dundalk-Eastfield Recreation Council, Cameron works hard to achieve his goals on his own.
    As his mother, Rachel, notes, he “does not want any special concessions being made for [him] at all.”
    A fan of the Baltimore Ravens, Cameron told his mother a few months ago that one of his greatest wishes would be to be able to meet the Ravens and see a game close up before he loses his sight for good.
    “He loves the Ravens and said he would love to meet them in person before he wouldn’t be able to see them,” Rachel Hood explained in an e-mail to The Eagle last week.
    Touched and determined to make the wish a reality, Rachel did some research and discovered the Granted Wish Foundation.
    Founded in Ohio in 2005, the organization is dedicated to fulfilling the dreams and goals of disabled and disadvantaged individuals.
    Unlike the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which only serves seriously or terminally ill children, the Granted Wish Foundation serves individuals of all ages and needs.
    Those served by the foundation often receive assistance with basic living expenses, medical and health needs and other hardships.
    Through the foundation, Cameron got to attend a Ravens training practice on Aug. 7. During the visit, Cameron and his family (including two siblings) got the chance to meet many of the Ravens players and watch them play.
    For Rachel, the support has been overwhelming. When news of Cameron’s granted wish was posted on the Granted Wish Foundation Facebook page, the post received 259 likes, 34 comments and was shared 40 times.
    In addition, Rachel has received many messages of support for Cameron and her family.
    “Not only have the Ravens and the Granted Wish [Foundation] been great but the outpouring of love and support for Cameron has been overwhelming.”
    She added, laughing, “The response has been wonderful countrywide, even from Steeler fans.”
    For more information on the Granted Wish Foundation, visit the web at www.
grantedwish.org or send mail to The Granted Wish Foundation, 3923 Everhard Rd. NW, Canton OH 44709.