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A Surprising Diagnosis Matched by Incredible Strength

December 11, 2018 is a day the Santos family will never forget. Five-year-old Carter was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Within three days, he received multiple platelet and blood transfusions.

But Carter’s treatment will take more than three years. And while the form of cancer Carter is battling has a 95 percent survival rate, his treatment will require the generosity of many donors in our community.

His mother, Nicole, wrote this account of her son’s first few days dealing with his illness: “A sweet nurse came to sit with Carter once he fell asleep which allowed Jason and I to step out to cry, hold each other, and then call our family to share the worst news of our lives. Over the next 36 hours Carter was admitted to oncology, given a blood transfusion, had a bone marrow aspiration, received three platelet transfusions, had a lumbar puncture to test the spinal fluid for cancer cells and then received another blood transfusion. Our sweet, five-year-old boy was in the middle of the fight of his life.”

Carter endures frequent treatments and receives antibiotics daily through his IV. He recently decided to shave his head and his mom said, “A few of his buddies came over at a moment’s notice to make sure he wasn’t doing it alone. Such a sweet and simple gesture––yet it speaks volumes of their support.”

The Santos family, including sisters Josie (13) and Payton (10), has been overtaken by the generosity of family, neighbors and community members. They make sure to thank everybody and—beyond that—they’re building their bond as a family: “We are working on a little backyard project planting some new plants, building a little transition deck and creating an outdoor seating area that will allow Carter to get out of the house and in the fresh air in a comfortable and cozy space. As he says, 'Mom, I can’t just hang out in the house with just the same two people, you and dad.'”

Cancer patients frequently require blood and platelet transfusions. Consider making an appointment to give to someone like Carter.