Big C - Teen with rare illness scores TD, highlight for the community
THIBODAUX, LA (WVUE) - Cameron "Big C" Steib lined up behind the offensive line, guarded by his teammates at E.D. White Catholic High School on a Thursday afternoon.
Head Coach Chris Bergeron called a running play in this scrimmage game against Thibodaux High School.
It was designed to go up the gut, and with the right player carrying the ball, the play had a chance to score.
Steib took the hand off and did not look back. He ran 30 yards through the teeth of the defense for the score.
It was the most important touchdown in the young player's life.
Cameron was diagnosed in 2006 with Leigh's Disease. He could barely walk and speak. The disease mostly attacks children and affects their central nervous system. The prognosis is usually poor.
Don't tell "Big C" that.
Cameron was the guest of honor at the New Orleans Saints game against the Philadelphia Eagles in 2006. He fell in love with the team and football.
The boy was just a first-grader at St. Joseph's Elementary in Thibodaux. He only stayed in school until noon each day. His mother, Julie, feared he would have to leave school entirely in the future.
Forward time nearly 11 years. Now, Cameron, who is 17 attends classes at E.D. White, he's an assistant football manager, and he's scheduled to graduate from high school next year.
When Bergeron called Julie and asked if Cameron could score the first touchdown, she said she didn't know what to do.
"I knew if he knew he wouldn't be able to sleep. If he didn't know, I didn't want to do that to him," she said. "Everything he has done, God has taken him through and he has gotten through. This is his dream. I would never say no."
Julie said players loved to take Cameron out around the community and throw the football with him. He loves country music. That started when he got to eat lunch with Zach Brown.
Cameron never complains, according to mom. She said parents in similar situations need to let their loved ones do their things.
"It's devastating when you get that news," Julie said. "We go to our doctors. We turn to our faith. We turn to God. We enjoy our life."
And that's exactly what "Big C" did during the spring scrimmage.
Once he got the ball, he was headed to the end zone, cheered on by members of both teams and everyone on the sidelines.
Julie calls Cameron a "miracle," but he still has his bad days.
This was not one of them. After the scrimmage, he went home to see if he made ESPN's Sports Center Top Plays.
Both teams showed grace and character that day.
When Cameron asked what he might do with his new found fame, he said about ego, "What's the word if you don't have humility."