Dr. Camille Hammond, ’97, recalls two valuable lessons she learned as a leadership studies major and student at the University of Richmond: “pursue your passion and give back.”
They were lessons she took to heart.
After struggling with infertility, Hammond realized that her passion was helping others in the same situation find hope. Now she is the executive director of the Tininia Q. Cade Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports families struggling with infertility and educates communities on the topic.
She and her family willingly share their story to help others. When she was unable to become pregnant because of endometriosis, a condition she was diagnosed with as a teenager, she and her husband Jason underwent in vitro fertilization procedures that were not successful.
So her mother Tininia (Tina) Cade, who is associate vice president in the University’s Office of Student Development, stepped in and offered to carry a child for them.
Cade — or as Hammond refers to her, “the best mom in the world who has modeled motherhood, womanhood and shown me how to love” — successfully gave birth to three healthy babies in 2004 and Hammond’s dream of helping other couples face infertility was born.
The story made national headlines and is still making news. Last month the family was featured on “The View.”
“It was exciting being on the show, but even more exciting to show families struggling with infertility that they too can become parents if they don’t lose faith and keep moving forward in the process,” says Hammond.
The Cade Foundation helps to facilitate those dreams by providing financial assistance and offering programs to individuals and communities across the country.
“It’s more than I ever dreamed it would be,” she says. “We’ve touched thousands of families through our education and outreach, and we’re helping to destigmatize infertility. Infertility is an issue a lot of people struggle with privately, and we wanted to put a face to that.”
Hammond is also a trained physician who has worked in cancer survivorship. After graduating from UR, she earned an M.D. from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and completed a residency at Johns Hopkins and a fellowship at the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.
She says the Jepson School prepared her to “be a different kind of doctor.”
“A large part of who I have become is thanks to the Jepson School and to UR and the seeds planted while I was there,” says Hammond, who minored in Latin and women’s studies and was pre-med.
She stays connected to the university by maintaining ties with the Jepson School and serving as a member of the URAA Board of Directors. She also recently worked with the Career Development Center, Office of Alumni and Career Services to hire a student to intern with Miracle Children, a support network she started.
“There’s a new generation of students who will hopefully go out and identify needs and do what they can to solve problems,” says Hammond. “I want to do what I can to support the next generation of leaders.”