r By Alicia SperryrOur son Carter was 9 years old when he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. He had 10 surgeries in four months, worked daily to rehabilitate paralysis on his left side caused from removing the tumor, and battled through two months with meningitis. He continued on to deal with a blood clot in his neck, pushed through 33 sessions of un-sedated radiation and endured months of chemo. He never complained and he never gave up during his 11-month battle. Carter showed people how to be brave and how to be kind even when your life is hard. On Aug. 4, 2016, Carter passed away peacefully in our arms at the age of 10 years old.rLooking back, we know that our family could not have gotten through such hard time in our life without the love, kindness and service from others. There was not a day that went by that we did not receive some sort of act of kindness – a text, a Facebook message, a meal, a package on our door, money, a letter in the mail, an activity or opportunity for our family to make memories or a hug from a friend. There were fundraisers, ward prayers, quilts made, gifts for our kids, paintings, pictures taken, videos recorded, surprise visitors and trips paid in full. Those things didn’t take away the heartbreak and sadness of watching our son suffer through treatment or knowing he would eventually die, but it eased our pain and touched our hearts.
rBecause we know heartache, we also know what an impact even the smallest act of kindness can make. We know we cannot pay everyone back, but we can pay it forward. We cannot think of a better way to honor Carter and keep his memory alive then to help other kids fighting cancer here in Utah. We also hope to raise awareness for childhood cancer and inspire others to serve. So far we have been able to create and donate 50 therapy bags to Primary Children’s Hospital to help kids rehab the effects caused by brain tumors. We are in the works of creating bags to make treatment more bearable for kids undergoing cancer treatment. Another future project will be collecting items for a prize drawing for a 5K to raise money to ease the financial strains of treatment for families. We may not be able to change the world and cure cancer, but we can help change the world for someone fighting cancer. Please join the “Team Carter” Facebook page or email email@example.com if you would like to help.