It’s rare for a 5-year-old to identify someone as a personal hero. It’s even more uncommon for them to still hold that hero in the highest regard nearly 40 years later.
But that’s exactly the case for Cameron Clark and also one of the big reasons he’s poised to raise money and awareness for the American Cancer Society and its annual “Real Men Wear Pink” campaign.
Clark, the president of United Assessment Recovery, is one of two dozen community business leaders and executives who are part of the 2020 campaign, which runs through the end of the year.
He split time between the United States and Canada growing up and learned about Terry Fox and the his effort called Marathon of Hope that raised awareness and money for cancer research. Fox was a Canadian athlete and humanitarian who had one leg amputated at age 19 due to cancer. He embarked on an east-to-west run across Canada – on his prosthetic leg – in 1980. His quest ended after 143 days and 3,339 miles before the spread of his cancer entered his lungs and forced him to quit. He died months later at age 22, but Marathon of Hope has continued and raised more than $24 million and more than $800 million has been generated in his name.
“During my time growing up in Canada, I remember learning about his life and his mission,” Clark said. “My mom introduced him to me when I was around 5 years old, and it was hard to picture just who he was and what he was doing. I found his story very inspiring as a got older. My mom was very proud of him and he was a great example for me. He was, and still is, a Canadian here and a personal hero of mine.”
His mother’s story is also a resounding force behind his “Real Men Wear Pink” efforts. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in the late 1990s, with it going into remission in 1997. In 2016, doctors detected pancreatic cancer and, after battling it for more than a year, died in August 2017.
“Back in 1997, I was serving my LDS church mission in Colorado and I asked her on the phone if she wanted me to go back to Canada to be with her,” Clark said. “She said no and told me to continue my mission and that she was in good care there. She very much was and is an example of a person you’d called uncharacteristically stoic.
“When she was diagnosed with the pancreatic cancer, she was living in the U.S.,” he said. “Her passing had a big impact on me. I feel like she was a confidante and one of the big reasons I’m in the career that I’m in today. I was weighing three different jobs at the time, and she helped me with the decision process and in dealing with all of the uncertainty at the time.
“Both Terry Fox and my mom, along with many others who’ve been affected by cancer, have inspired me to step forward and lend my support to the cause and hope of finding a cure to this horrible disease someday,” Clark said.
Clark has set his individual fundraising goal at $2,500. All told, the collaborative group of two dozen men are aiming to raise $175,000 for the American Cancer Society.
Each person has unique ways to raise money – aside from simple cash donations. Clark has turned to selling some of his original artwork on eBay and steering a portion of the money toward his campaign.
“I have done some drawings and watercolor paintings,” he said. “I’ve tried some expressionist art and some landscapes. Some have been of the Las Vegas Strip and others are images of Newport Beach. It seems like some of them have been very popular.”
Find a sampling of his artwork for sale at: www.ebay.com/usr/actionladart Part of the winning bid will go directly to Clark’s fundraising efforts for the American Cancer Society.
Clark has lived in Las Vegas since 2005 with his wife, Cara. They have three children.
For additional information about Real Men Wear Pink and to support Clark’s campaign, visit https://secure.acsevents.org/site/STR/RMWP/RMWPCY20WER?px=56111399&pg=personal&fr_id=97849 .
For more information about United Assessment Recovery, visit https://uarecovery.com .