"It was just heartfelt," Victor Boyce said

By Robyn Merrett
October 06, 2020 08:16 PM
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Cameron Boyce's parents were deeply touched by Skai Jackson's Dancing with the Stars tribute to their late son.

"For Skai to have the opportunity to share her love of Cameron in that way was just really special and touching," the late actor's mother, Libby Boyce, said during an appearance on People (the TV Show!).

As seen on Monday night's episode of DWTS, Jackson, 18, dedicated her performance to Cameron, who she said was a "really close friend." Jackson, who played Zuri Ross on Disney Channel's Jessie, starred opposite Cameron (Luke Ross) from 2011-2015. Performing a foxtrot to the tune of John Legend's "Ordinary People," Jackson blew the judges away with her beautiful number, which earned the first 10 of season 29.

The actress was awarded a 28/30: a 10 from Carrie Ann Inaba and two nines from Derek Hough and Bruno Tonioli. While the scores brought a smile to Jackson's face, what she wanted most was to make Cameron proud. "I hope I did," she told host Tyra Banks. "He was someone that was really important to me and he's part of why I did the show," a tearful Jackson said.

Alan Bersten and Skai Jackson on week four of DWTS
| Credit: ABC

"She looked beautiful," Cameron's father, Victor Boyce, said on People (the TV Show!). "I've known her since she was 7 and she's always been talented. And now, as a young woman, she really projected grace, and it was just heartfelt."

Greg Doherty/Getty

Ahead of her performance, Jackson expressed that Cameron — who had epilepsy and died on July 6, 2019 at age 20 after suffering a seizure in his sleep — had "taught me so much, even little things like being a kind person, being motivated [and] wanting to try harder."

The kind words were comforting to Victor and Libby, who are understandably still struggling to cope with the loss of their son.

"We can have a few days go by that we're holding up, and the next day, we fall into each other and remember the reality, which is extremely raw and painful and will be forever," Libby said on People (the TV Show!). "It's nothing you get better from. It's an everlasting pain, and it's part of our life and the cards we were dealt."

As they continue to mourn, they are keeping Cameron's memory and legacy alive.

"We have to go on and continue what we're doing and honor him," Libby shared.

Following their son's death, Libby and Victor launched the Cameron Boyce Foundation; the charity’s aim is to provide “young people artistic and creative outlets as alternatives to violence and negativity and uses resources and philanthropy for positive change in the world.”

The foundation is also planning to raise awareness about epilepsy. "Epilepsy is what killed our son, and we pretty quickly realized that that had to be at the core of what we are doing," said Libby.

Cameron Boyce and Skai Jackson
| Credit: SKAI JACKSON/INSTAGRAM
Cameron Boyce and Skai Jackson
| Credit: SKAI JACKSON/INSTAGRAM

Victor added: "We don't want anybody to go through what we went though."

"Everyday is unreal and surreal," Victor continued. "I just can't describe it to you. Immediately when our son passed, my wife's first thing was his death cannot be in vain. Our goal is to keep his legacy alive and help as many people as we can."

At the time of his death, a family spokesperson told PEOPLE that Cameron "passed away in his sleep due to a seizure which was a result of an ongoing medical condition for which he was being treated."

"The world is now undoubtedly without one of its brightest lights, but his spirit will live on through the kindness and compassion of all who knew and loved him,” the family spokesperson said. “We are utterly heartbroken and ask for privacy during this immensely difficult time as we grieve the loss of our precious son and brother.”