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Kristen Cameron

Assistant Women's Hockey Coach

 

Hello.  We represent the Women’s Ice Hockey team from Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania.  Recently, our assistant coach, Kristen Cameron, 25, was involved in a hit and run, when a drunk driver struck her while she was riding her bike around 6pm on Sunday, September 12th.  Kristen broke her back, broke her neck in three places, and was in the intensive care unit in critical condition for several days. For the first three days, Kristen was living on a respirator and was in and out of surgeries on her back and neck where plates were put on both sides of her neck, to give it stability. Her condition has improved, but Kristen still is paralyzed from the waist down. Kristen is a native of Prince Edward Island, Canada so needless to say, she’s a long way from home. Her family flew down and has been at the hospital every waking moment.  She is now at a special trauma center in Toronto. 

Kristen played collegiate hockey at Bowdoin College in Maine where she was a national standout, and since graduation has devoted her life to coaching girl hockey players of all ages. Before coming to Mercyhurst, she coached at Castleton State College in Vermont, and she devotes her summers to working hockey camps around the United States and Canada. Her dedication and love for hockey is unparalleled.  If you walked into the Mercyhurst Ice Center at just about any time of the day, you could be sure that Kristen would be there, ready to help you with anything you needed.  From analyzing video into the wee hours of the morning, to giving pep talks, or even being a personal psychiatrist when one of us is having a bad day, Kristen is someone that our team and coaches have always been able to depend on, no matter what. 

Another thing that sets Kristen apart is that she volunteers her time with our team, without pay.  She is a graduate assistant, which means she is here getting her degree in organizational leadership, working  in the anthropology department during the mornings for a small stipend, and volunteering her afternoons, evenings, and weekends, to the hockey team.  The amount of work that Kristen does on a volunteer basis is extraordinary and truly shows how much she loves the game of hockey.  Another major part of Kristen’s life is fitness, including yoga and biking. She rode for miles and spent hundreds of dollars on a road bike.  In the end, the most important part of her biking uniform, her helmet, saved her life.  She is one of the most physically active people any of us have ever known, so to see her with such an uncertain future, makes this even harder on herself, her friends, and her family.

Usually when a tragedy happens, all people can talk about is how amazing the person that was injured is, even if it’s not exactly the whole truth. However, anyone who has ever come in contact with Kristen, even for five minutes, would tell you that she has the personality and character that changes people’s lives.  She has a constant positive and strong aura around her that you can’t help but notice. Kristen has only been our assistant coach for two years, but has become a monumental part of all of our lives. As the only female on our coaching staff, she is the one that we go to when we are having problems at home, with boyfriends, or anything of the sort. If you asked anyone on the team, they would all say without a doubt, that they could tell Kristen anything and know that she would help in whatever way she could.  With so many of us being from complete different parts of North America, she has become part of our second family.  She is widely known as an extremely encouraging and strong, yoga-loving person who never has a bad thing to say about anyone or anything. She is one of the most optimistic and caring people any of us have ever come in contact with and over the short period of time that we have known her, we can all honestly say that she has changed our lives forever.  It is not often that we find coaches like Kristen and as we fight for a national title again this year, she is the center of our motivation and drive.

Obviously it has been very hard for Kristen’s family emotionally and physically, but they will also struggle financially under all the heavy medical bills.  With the uncertainty of Kristen’s condition, it is also possible that she could be paralyzed, further increasing the family’s financial troubles.  As college students, there’s only so much help that we can give to the family financially. And though being at the hospital every day with Kristen and giving her our support is helpful and puts a smile on her face, her family needs financial support to ease their worries so that their main focus can be on Kristen and her recovery.

Though our school is small and tight-knit, it has been a very difficult time for all of us and anything we can do to help her family will be amazing.  Please consider giving any sort of monetary donation to help Kristen’s family through this hardship. You have no idea how much it will mean to them and to everyone that is close with her.

Sincerely,

Members of the Mercyhurst College Women’s Ice Hockey Team

 

 

If you are interested in donating to The Kristen Cameron Trust Fund, please send your donation to:

Kristen Cameron Trust Fund
TD Canada Trust, Transit 56803
192 Queen Street
Charlottetown, PEI
C1A7L3

 

 

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