Two little boys, one act of generosity

A five-year-old Waterloo boy has inspired thousands after he decided to help a Kenyan child who needed life-saving surgery.

Before Christmas, Natalie Self gave her son Cam opportunity to choose a gift from Compassion’s gift guide. They paged through the catalogue together, but Cam walked away and didn’t seem interested.

Moments later, he returned with a bag carrying all the coins from his piggy bank: about $1.50.

Cam said, “Here mom, I think this should be enough. I would like to fix that baby’s heart.”

Cam chose to help “Baby Brave,” a four-month-old boy in Kenya who needed surgery in India to correct a serious heart defect.

The gift guide suggests a $5,000 contribution toward the surgery, which cost more than $22,000. Compassion had already raised $16,000.

So the Self family set out to raise enough to help Baby Brave, by Jan. 15. On Jan. 8, they reached their goal of $5,000.

Their Facebook page, “Help Cam Help Baby Brave,” attracted almost 2,000 fans and includes several videos in which Cam gives an update on their progress.

Watch the video at

Local Kitchener media covered the story, too, including the Waterloo Region Record and CTV News.

Barry Slauenwhite, Compassion’s President and CEO, said, “Someday, I want to see Cam step into that little hut in Meru, Kenya, and say, ‘Hi, I’m Cam. I’m the guy that saved your life.”

“Truly amazing what we can do together,” Cam’s father, Allan, wrote on Facebook. “Thank you especially to all the other kids who joined Cam by giving from their piggy banks. You little ones have been inspirational!”

Written by: Amy Bennett

Amy served as Compassion Canada's Communications Advisor. She holds graduate degrees in English and Journalism. Her work has appeared in local and national publications such as The Globe and Mail. Favourite reading material includes the book of Job and Paradise Lost, but also Jen Hatmaker's MOTN (middle of the night) posts on Facebook and Orangette.