Despite living with severe brain damage after surviving a meningitis infection as an infant, Cameron has started his own business, ‘Cameron Collects’ by collecting recyclable drink containers and delivering them to Containers for Change recycling centres across Perth.
Cameron was born happy and healthy in 1995 to Mum Jane and Dad Michael in a small town 4 hours north of Kalgoorlie. When he was just five months old, Cameron fell ill. Initially, it seemed that Cameron had the common cold – and their family doctor confirmed it. However, as time went on and his parents noticed other symptoms, like the arching of his back and long bouts of sleeping, it became clear that his condition was a lot more serious.
Living in a small town, there was no hospital, so Cameron was driven to the nearest doctor, then driven to a Kalgoorlie hospital before being flown with the Royal Flying Doctors’ Service to Perth. That evening, Jane and Michael were told that Cameron had meningitis. In the morning that followed, the life-changing news was delivered to the parents: Cameron had suffered a brain seizure, and subsequently, had severe brain damage.
Fast forward to now and Cameron is 25 years old, and unable to talk or learn skills for the workplace. Jane knew it was important for Cameron to have ambition as an adult, and so she and Cameron’s support worker created Cameron Collects.
Essentially, Cameron picks up recycling containers from local homes and businesses and delivers them to Containers for Change facilities with the help of his support worker. This is perfect for Cameron, as it is a way to connect and socialise (non-verbally) with the Perth community, all while providing Cameron purpose.
Cameron comes to Perth every Friday to collect containers, and anyone can register their house or business as a pick up point. Otherwise, local resident Kay has offered her Subiaco home as a pick-up venue to reduce the amount of collection points for Cameron. If you’d like to get involved, message Jane via the Cameron Collects Facebook page, or contact Kay to drop off your containers at her place.