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Dr. Saturday

VOD: Notre Dame welcomes Make-A-Wish child into its program for three days

Sam Cooper
Dr. Saturday

In the week leading up to Notre Dame’s home contest with Navy, the Fighting Irish had a very special guest with them.

Cameron Kessler, a 15-year-old from Bethlehem Pa., is a huge Notre Dame fan who suffers from chronic kidney disease and had a kidney transplant at three years old.

As part of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Cameron’s wish was to spend a day with Notre Dame football. He asked to spend one day with Notre Dame football, but Notre Dame gave him three days.

When arriving in South Bend, Cameron got to hang out in coach Brian Kelly’s office and then he and his family were given a standing ovation when entering the team meeting.

“Cam has been such a Notre Dame fan. I hope they realize how special they’ve made him feel. To walk down those steps and have our heroes applaud us was very very humbling. We are in great gratitude to the Make-A-Wish foundation and the great people at Notre Dame.” Cameron’s father Bob said with tears in his eyes

“We didn’t know what to expect. We thought we were going to sit in the back of the meeting. To treat him as one of their own was very special for all of us. It’s indescribable, the feeling,” said Colleen, Cameron’s mother.

The family made a special connection with Irish assistant coach Bob Elliott. Elliott, like Cameron, had a kidney transplant in February. Elliott’s ability to coach despite the transplant inspired Cameron.

“When I see Coach Elliott coaching it makes me think of how people who have had this can do anything they want. He gave me hope that I can be around the sport even though I can’t play it and I can be involved with it.” Cameron said

Cameron’s father echoed that sentiment.

“If Coach Elliott can be Coach Elliott at Notre Dame with a kidney transplant with similar medical challenges Cam has had, I think Cam looks at that and says ‘I can do that. I can be like him. I don’t have to be a kidney transplant patient. I can be what I want to be.’”

Cameron also was able to attend a team practice, go to the pep rally with the team, and walk into the stadium with the team.

Kudos for Notre Dame football for doing a great thing.

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