Even though it was his final session of chemotherapy, Portland, Maine bus driver Jamie Creamer wasn’t exactly looking forward to another day in the hospital and the days of pain to follow. Of course, this was after months of treatments and surgeries for his neck cancer.
“I didn’t want to do it,” Creamer said. “I felt like I was freezing, I felt sick. I didn’t want to go.”
But that was before the 46-year old got a huge pick-me-up. Members of the South Portland High School band, kids Creamer is used to driving around and cheering for at competitions, showed up outside the hospital to play a few songs and lift his spirits.
Roughly 20 school buses showed up carrying band members. The buses honk their horns as they arrived, drawing Creamer’s attention to the window. When he looked outside, Creamer saw the band and color guard ready to perform a few numbers to honor his final day of chemotherapy.
During the performance, members of the color guard held up a sign that read “Get Well Jamie!!!” and had been signed by the entire school.
“I felt like crap until they came,” said Creamer. “Now I feel awesome. I feel so blessed.”
Creamer describes his relationship with the students in the South Portland school district as akin to being their uncle. The students feel the same way, which is why they were so eager to show their support for him during his battle with cancer.
“It was really important to give back to the man who has gotten us through so many band seasons,” said senior band member Josh Hyssong. “I’m really glad we were able to make this gesture of support for him and to wish him well.”
Creamer’s wife, Tammy, who helped organize the band’s excursion, says the prognosis is good but that he often feels tired and depressed after treatments. But a visit from the school band may be just what he needed to keep going in his fight against the disease.
“I’m hoping he gets the inspiration to continue his journey to recovery,” said Tammy. “I want him to see all the love he puts out for the kids coming back to him.”