Sad Details About Hallmark Star Cameron Mathison

As a soap star and former Hallmark Channel actor, Cameron Mathison is no stranger to drama, and unfortunately, he has dealt with a lot of it in real life. That's not to say that he didn't find success early on. After starring in a few small roles at the beginning of his career, Mathison went on to snag the role of Ryan Lavery in "All My Children," which he would go on to play for 13 years. His depiction of Lavery earned the "Window Wonderland" star a Soap Opera Digest award for Outstanding Male Newcomer and two Daytime Emmy nods for Outstanding Supporting Actor.

Mathison's resume is long and extensive, and it seems he has had a pretty charmed life so far. While he's no longer with "All My Children" or the Hallmark Channel, the dad of two has found a home at "General Hospital" and Great American Family. However, Mathison has had to deal with some pretty heavy issues behind the scenes, and along with a few health struggles over the years, the "Murder She Baked" actor sadly had to say goodbye to loved ones.

Cameron Mathison opened up about his childhood disease

When Cameron Mathison competed in Season 5 of "Dancing with the Stars," you would never have known he was diagnosed with Perthes disease as a young kid, per ABC News. The condition that only affects children cuts off the blood supply at the top of the hip joint, which weakens the bone. Cameron had to wear a leg brace for years, which took a toll on his emotional well-being. "Initially, it was difficult because everyone looked at him," his father Bill Mathison recalled.

In 2015, the "Very, Very, Valentine" star shared a throwback pic of himself wearing the braces. "Me and my brother Scott for #waybackwednesday. I wore that leg brace for 4 years night and day. Scott was my hero and would be my legs when I needed them. For all those with Legg Perthes Disease, and other disabilities, who have reached out to me over the years ... Keep reaching out!" he told fans. Mathison's journey as an adult is not over yet. In order to avoid hip replacement surgery, he revealed in a 2022 Instagram video that he was trying stem cell treatments. He seemed positive and upbeat about his prospects. "Teaming up with R3 Stem Cell is giving me a fighting chance to delay that, or even prevent it altogether. Here we goooooooo!" he wrote. Fingers crossed for Mathison!

Cameron Mathison was diagnosed with kidney cancer

As if Cameron Mathison living with the effects of Perthes disease wasn't enough, he revealed in a now-deleted 2019 Instagram post that he had a health scare that changed his life. "About a month ago, I had an MRI for some gut issues I've been having, and during that MRI they found a tumor on my right kidney. It's consistent with Renal Cell Carcinoma ... or kidney cancer," he told fans (via CNN). Soon afterward, Mathison underwent surgery to remove the tumor. "I've been very overwhelmed and so grateful for all of the supportive comments and prayers. The surgery went very well. The tumor is gone and I even got to keep 80% of my kidney," he shared on Instagram.

Since his diagnosis and surgery, Mathison has been diligent about being on top of his well-being. "I work with a health coach now — I thought I knew a lot about what I was doing in the right and the wrong ways or whatever, but in the last year, I'd say, maybe 14 months, I've learned more about my own specific health challenges and growth than I have probably in decades before that," he told People in 2022. He also gets regular checkups to ensure that he remains healthy and told ET the following year, "I'm stronger than I've ever been. I've got more energy than I've ever been. I worked really hard at it."

Cameron Mathison lost his four-legged friend

Fans of Cameron Mathison know that he frequently posted about his dog Red, which was why it was heartbreaking when he revealed that his furry pal was diagnosed with cancer on "Hallmarkies Podcast." He stated, "He's on medication to help with the pain right now so he's doing well. He seems really happy and he's running around and we're just going to enjoy as much time as we have with him."

Less than a year later, Mathison shared on Instagram, "So incredibly sad to say our sweet Red has lost his battle with cancer. Fortunately he passed away peacefully while sleeping. He was truly my best buddy and such a huge part of our family." He continued, "Everyday when I came home he would run to our driveway fence and kiss me through the bars before I came through the gate. Every single day. So so many great memories ... grateful for all of them. I miss you already sweet boy." Mathison's Hallmark fam rallied around him. "Oh Cam, I'm so sorry. Such a deep deep heartbreak. Wrapping you up in so much love," Nikki DeLoach wrote. Candace Cameron Bure replied, "Awww sweet baby. Sending you all so much love and hugs and prayers for your hearts."

Cameron Mathison lost his mother to cancer

After being diagnosed with kidney cancer and getting a clean bill of health, Cameron Mathison shared the heartbreaking news that his mom had died in October 2021. "Mom, you left this world a better place. You were the center of our family with so much love and devotion for all of us. You were there for me in my absolute toughest times, and celebrated all my successes with so much love and enthusiasm," he posted on Instagram along with a series of pictures celebrating his mother. He continued, "You will always be with me in my heart. I love you and miss you so much I can't put into words."

Just weeks before his mom died, Mathison shared a picture of him at the hospital with an IV drip on his arm. "I love this photo of my mom supporting me through my cancer journey back in 2019. Four months later she would be diagnosed with Brain Cancer and she is still fighting hard," he wrote. Sadly, Mathison's mom did not make it but he channeled his grief into helping others and even hosted a charity gala for cancer research the weekend after she died. "It was hard. I was up there telling my own story and then telling my mom's story. And there were many moments of emotional, kind of, breakdown there, but I just embraced it and it's part of the journey," he stated on the Tamron Hall Show, adding that they managed to raise over $4 million.

Cameron Mathison struggled with letting his kids leave home

It's never easy when your kids leave the roost and Cameron Mathison had a hard time letting his youngest go off to college. In June 2024, he celebrated his daughter Leila Mathison's high school graduation and wrote on Instagram, "Your dedication, resilience, and passion have brought you to this moment, and I couldn't be prouder. You amaze me every single day. I love you so much. Here's to all the adventures that lie ahead. Next stop Paris." A month prior, Cameron sent his daughter off to prom, but not without some waterworks. "Leila, I want you to know that you are always on my mind and in my heart. I'm so grateful for every moment I get to spend with you, and remember no matter where life takes you always know that you are loved beyond measure," he gushed while sharing pics of the two hugging, adding that he shed some tears during their touching father-daughter moment.

"It's tough," Cameron stated of his kids moving out, per People. "I'm about to be an empty nester. My kids are older, my daughter's leaving. It's the best thing in the world. But at the same time, I don't think I'm ready. I mean, you think you are. You're like, 'Oh, it's going to be awesome,' but I'm going to miss them,'" he lamented. However, he looked on the bright side and relished having a cleaner house with his real-life wife Vanessa Arevalo Mathison, as well as more time to work on side projects.