Jake Query and Cameron Holt: doing the right thing

Dateline: Wed 04 Jun 2008

Cameron Holt, 7 years old, of Plainfield, was diagnosed last year with brain cancer -- specifically brain stem glioma. "We were given 18 months," says his mom Trish Seiger. "But he's already gone beyond that. The doctors are amazed."

Trish and Cameron's dad Ronnie Holt are also amazed, not only in light of Cameron's well-being -- he is between treatments and enjoying life, including his hobbies, NASCAR, cars and video games. They are also in awe of their little boy's new friendship with Jake Query, a radio sports reporter who does the morning show on WIBC 93.1 with Terri Stacy.

Trish marvels that what started out as a very bad day at the Indy 500 track the Wednesday before the race turned out to be so spectacular. For that, they thank Jake Query.

Here is the story: Cameron is a Make-a-Wish child, and Make-a-Wish is sponsored by radio station WZPL 99.5 FM. In that context, Cameron was invited to visit the track May 21; he was asked to participate in a pit crew competition and be the guest of the WZPL team, including disc jockey Dave Smiley and other radio hotshots.

But when Cameron and his parents and sister Candace, 11, showed up at the WZPL area, "Dave Smiley and the others in his crew were drinking," said Trish. She saw Smirnoff bottles and indifference. The time? About 11:30 a.m., says Trish.

"I walked up and introduced Cameron. They never put it (alcohol) down so we just stood there."

"We were not expecting fireworks," she explained. "But when a sick child is involved, you would think they would make an effort."

Although eventually the Smiley team offered to take Cameron to meet the drivers, the little boy had his heart set on participating in the competition. That never happened.

"They just walked off and left us," said Trish, speaking of Smiley and Co.

"That's when Jake (Query) came over and said, 'What's the problem?'"

Trish assumed at first he was a track official. In fact, he was finished with his radio broadcast for the day and simply took an interest in the family.

"Jake took us under his wing for that day," said Trish. As a result, Cameron and his family got to visit inside the garages, meet many drivers including Danica Patrick, and even go to the top of the tower at the Speedway.

"There was no radio involved," said Trish. "He simply went beyond anything we had ever imagined. Cameron fell in love with him. He is Cameron's hero."

Since that day, Query has been in regular contact with the family, says Trish. He got them all tickets to the race, Cameron's first ever. When Query broadcast that day from the track, he did a shout-out for Cameron and Candace. Cameron did a drawing for Jake in thanks.

"I am just a little person in Plainfield," says Trish. "But we would like Jake to get the recognition he deserves." You can bet she and her family are all now WIBC fans.

For more about Cameron, visit www.caringbridge.org and type in his name, CameronHolt.

As for Jake, who is 35 years old, his mother and father did a great job. But he'd be the first to say: this is not about him. It's about Cameron and his family. And, in my view, responsible media vs. indifference.

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