Camas High School is full of all different types of people, from athletes to actors to artists. We also have students who have special needs. Cayden Pierce is a junior here at CHS who struggles with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a disease that affects every muscle in his body.
Allen Jones, the para-educator who works with Pierce everyday, is a graduate of the University of Oregon and has some connections with the university’s football team. He worked as an equipment manager from 1997-2001. His good friend Kenny Farr came up with the idea to get Pierce down there.
The first visit came in 2016. There, running back Royce Freeman came out and gave Pierce a jersey with the number 24 on it, his favorite number. He also received an autographed football from Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota.
The next two times Pierce went to visit, coach Mario Cristobal made it a point to mention how much just a few minutes of the players time meant the world to kids like Pierce. “I thought it was really cool to meet so many players,” Pierce said. Most of the players would walk up to Pierce and his family and say thanks for coming. There were a few that came and had a conversation with him.
A few of the players even remembered Pierce from the previous year, including Jordan Scott, Brendan Schooler, and Justin Herbert. “Maybe the coolest moment was when Freeman called Cayden over to present him with a Jersey in front of the whole team,” Jones exclaimed.
Pierce is just like any other kid at Camas, and he does not let his disability define who he is. According to Mr. Jones, Pierce lives “the most fulfilling life possible”. Not a lot of people live with what Pierce does, but also not very many people live with the pride that he does.