“I didn’t know him and I had no idea what to expect, but the way he treated Mikayla was incredible.”
Yahoo Sports: How social media connected Cam F. Awesome with a young sickle cell patient
Most boxers treasure their championship belts and medals, and rightly so. Few can understand the level of dedication and commitment that goes into winning a title at the highest levels of either amateur or pro boxing.
It does, in many ways, consume one’s life, and the belts are a visible everyday reminder of the success of that endeavor.
Cam F. Awesome, one of the successful amateur boxers in this country over the last decade or so, has had more than his share of high-profile wins.
He’s the 2016 USA Boxing Elite national heavyweight champion, which he won on Dec. 10 in Kansas City. It’s his fifth elite national title. He was the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Trials champion. He’s a four-time Golden Gloves national champion.
He was presented a blue championship belt after winning the elite national title yet again, but he didn’t keep it very long.
Less than two weeks after winning the belt, he gave it away to a 15-year-old girl he’d never met before.
Awesome wound up at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City on Tuesday through the power of social media. There he gave his belt to Mikayla Perkins, a sickle cell patient who was at the hospital with her father, Cameron, for a monthly blood transfusion that is necessary to keep her alive.
Awesome, who was born Lenroy Thompson, wound up visiting Perkins in a very roundabout way. Jake Jacobson, the director of public relations for the hospital, tweeted a note of congratulations to Awesome on his national championship victory.
While Awesome doesn’t have a large national profile, he is fairly well known in the Kansas City area, where he is from.
Awesome is talented enough to have turned professional at any point in the last five years, and probably would be making a significant living had he chosen to do so.
But he’s never been so interested in fighting as a pro. He had other things he wanted to do with his life that didn’t involve fighting for a paycheck. He continues to enjoy amateur boxing, and despite missing out on his dream of representing the U.S. in the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in the summer, opted to continue his amateur career.
Awesome, 28, quickly replied to Jacobson’s note of congratulations, though he wasn’t basking in the glory of his win. Rather, he told Jacobson he’d like to visit a child in the hospital and give his newly won belt away.