Cambri Dorko had an infectious smile, an unforgettable giggle and a sassy spunk. She was a fighter, yet she had a very gentle way about her. Cambri’s friends and family remember her as being goofy and silly, with a presence that just seemed to make everything better.
On June 16, 2006, Cambri was born to parents Shannon Dorko and Kevin Slater at Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, MI. At the age of five, Cambri started her fight with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma cancer and fought courageously for nine years. Cambri’s hometown of Vicksburg, Michigan, holds a special place in the heart of her family and friends for showing her a support system like no other; one harnessing love, strength and community.
During Cambri’s time in school, she made some of her best friends; Jenna, Maddy, Olivia, Kaylee, Max, Aaliyah, and many others. Cambri also shared some of her most special friendships with her cousins. Her cousin Carissa was a cherished friend to her. Some of Cambri’s favorite things with friends consisted of creating Tik-Tok’s (even finding some “Tik-Tok fame”), having slumber parties in her cabin built by her Grandpa Rick, and walking to Apple Knocker’s Ice Cream Shop with friends after school.
Cambri was a social butterfly; someone always bringing out the best in those around her. She had a way of leaving a little light wherever she went, but she also had a stubbornness and a will to fight. If she did not get her way, she would find a way to get it. Cambri had a way of being honest and to the point, offering advice with a wisdom far beyond her years. She experienced some of the hardest thing’s life has to offer, yet she had this extraordinary view on life; seeing the best in everything and everyone, even if it meant having to acknowledge the not so good first.
Cambri loved to create things and tinker with things. Two of her most valued collections were her Legos and her stuffed animals. She loved to dance to her own rhythm, sing even if people were listening, and shop until she dropped. She was a fashionista always doing her makeup (even creating her own makeup tutorials), getting her nails done with Mom, and taking hours to pick out an outfit with a perfectly coordinated pair of shoes and accessories. Even though Cambri had a sparkly and shiny way about her, she was a thrill seeker, always wanting to ride the big rides at the amusement parks and not afraid to get a little muddy riding her four wheelers.
Cambri’s favorite memories were her travels and cool life experiences; fitting considering she dreamt to travel the world. Cambri made a few very memorable trips to Florida. For one she was picked up in a limo from the airport, flown to Disney, and was dressed up as a Princess. However, the best part of the trip for her was skipping to the front of all the lines at Magic Kingdom. She even got to sit front row at a Justin Bieber concert, went to a Taylor Swift concert and a Lady Gaga concert, received a video message from Billie Eilish, and got “shout outs” from famous athletes; however, they all knew who the real star was. Some of Cambri’s favorite annual traditions were her summer visits to Camp Catch-A-Rainbow, trips to Gull Meadow Farms and her family birthday parties in her Grandpa’s back yard.
If there is one thing that those close to Cambri know, it is that she valued her things. Everywhere Cambri went, she took a little piece of home with her. She would pack a backpack and have bags inside of bags. She would have a bag for snacks, a bag for crafts and markers and a bag for her phone and wallet. And even though it may look like clutter to someone on the outside, Cambri had everything organized perfectly in just the way she liked it. If she could not fit everything inside, she would repack the bag. This speaks to who Cambri was as a person, if something needed fixing, she would fix it; she was not one to just let things be broken.
Cambri had a love for food, or maybe just a love for choosing food. If there were options, she would choose all of the options. She even loved to create meals for herself. She would mix things that seemingly would not go together and somehow create something amazing. Her favorite snacks were tomatoes with Adobo, Starbucks pumpkin bread and mac & cheese.
One of Cambri’s passions was animals. She loved dogs, cats, horses, and even snakes. Her first dog was a golden retriever, Buster, who she had a special friendship with. However, this past Christmas, Cambri got her best gift yet; her own dog, Sammy. Sammy was Cambri’s best friend and support system. She taught him tricks and loved to laugh and play with Sammy, along with all her kitties.
Over the years, Cambri’s dream went from being a waitress to a hairdresser, singer, and actress. As she got older, Cambri’s dream was to be a photographer traveling the world. All of these professions advertise Cambri’s personality; confident, creative, and a visionary. Cambri joked about being a nurse someday, showcasing her sarcasm, because really, she just wanted to be a nurse so she could poke them back and see how they liked it.
Cambri was a fighter; she had a strength that was unmatched, but those are qualities about her that life kind of made her find. Cambri was really just a gentle spirited yet strong-minded and extraordinary girl. Her strong mind was reinforced by her special friendship with Uncle Josh. Although she is mostly identified for her own fight, Cambri fought for others. If there was anyone going through pain, even if it might not compare to her own, she put hers aside in order to help someone else. She cared unconditionally. She knew the little inconveniences and frustrations of each day were not what was important, she put these things aside and had this way of just living in the moment. She did not think much about the future or the past, and she did not really care to follow time either, she just lived and felt alive.
Cambri loved to be in the water or near it, she loved to be in the sunshine, and she loved to be around nature. She passed in her Grandpa’s home, wrapped in her mother’s arms, with her dog Sammy’s paw on her arm, surrounded by family. Cambri, we hope you are traveling the world, flying with the butterflies, swimming with the dolphins, and dancing in the clouds. You will be forever in our hearts, and always on our minds. We love you endlessly; forever and always.
Cambri Alexis Dorko passed away in her hometown of Vicksburg, Michigan on Saturday, May 8, 2021 at the age of 14. She was born to parents Shannon Dorko and Kevin Slater. Family and friends remember Cambri’s infectious laugh and her personality that could light up any room. Cambri left a forever impact on everyone; from those she knew for many years, to those she knew for minutes. Cambri is survived by mother, Shannon Dorko, and father, Kevin (Jill) Slater, her grandparents, aunts and uncles, many cousins, close family friends, and her puppy, Sammy.
A visitation will be held on Thursday, May 13, 2021, from 4pm to 7pm at Chapman Memorial Church of the Nazarene, 7520 E U Ave, Vicksburg, MI 49097 (269) 649-2392. Another visitation will be held at the same location on Friday, May 14, 2021, from 10am until 11am with a funeral service to follow at 11. Around 12:15 p.m. there will be a procession through downtown Vicksburg. The family invites the community to stand by the roadside as the procession passes. The procession will travel to Vicksburg Cemetery at 333 W Hwy, St, Vicksburg, MI 49097, where a committal service will be held. The public is welcome at all events. Please wear a mask. Memorial contributions can be made to DC Strong or Best Friends Animal Society.