Answering the Call

Kameron Williamson '21 Pursues Dream of Becoming a Doctor

By Venita Jenkins

Kameron Williamson ’21 begins his first year of medical school with a great appreciation for life and for those who helped him on his path to becoming a doctor.

At the age of 13, Williamson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. His battle with cancer and later volunteer work at a camp for children with chronic illnesses sparked Williamson’s desire to become a pediatric oncologist. 

“I don’t want to see children end up with a story like mine, where you see four doctors, and they pass off the case as growing pains,” he said. “That’s what moved me to pursue medicine; the personal connection with the kids and being able to impact people’s lives.”

Williamson, native of Browns Summit, NC, started his medical studies at UNCW with a bachelor’s degree in biology. During his time at UNCW, he was an Honors student, orientation leader and recipient of the Dr. Leroy W. Upperman Endowed Scholarship and the Daniel Gottovi M.D. Scholarship. He also participated in the Duke University Summer Biomedical Sciences Institute after his freshman year. Williamson continues his education at Wake Forest School of Medicine, where he is the recipient of the Dean’s Medical Excellence Scholarship.

He credits much of his success to the support he received at UNCW, especially to Linda Upperman Smith, a longtime donor, mentor and former member of the UNCW Board of Trustees. She connected Williamson to a network of fellow students, faculty and staff to help him achieve his goals. She introduced Williamson to Dr. Kent Guion, a professor in the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences in the College of Health and Human Services, who served as Williamson’s mentor and helped him create an “action plan” to become a doctor.

“Linda Upperman Smith was the greatest thing that could have ever happened to me in terms of getting to where I am today,” said Williamson. “When I was selected for the scholarship, it removed a financial burden. The support I received changed my life. I feel like I was very prepared for medical school.” 

Besides providing young patients with quality care, Williamson said he is also looking forward to being a role model for young people of color. 

“It’s a beautiful thing to be able to see someone who looks like you in a position that you might not see possible for yourself,” he said. “I think being exposed to that early opens your eyes to numerous possibilities.”