Karter

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Karter was just 2 1/2 years old when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. He has since endured six cycles of chemotherapy, a 9 hour surgery, stem cell harvesting, tandem high dose chemo with stem cell transplants, 20 days of radiation and 1/2 through 6 cycles of monoclonal antibody therapy.

Karters mom, Laurie, says it best: For the past year our lives have been completely flipped upside down. We have been spilt up, and not just our family of 4 but our extended families and family of friends. A year of ups and downs. Holding it together and falling completely apart in the same breath. A year of watching our son grow up in the walls of a hospital. A year of watching him be poke and prodded, held down and his little body pumped with fluids, whether it be medicines as harsh as chemo or just blood. A year of ripping off bandages and cleaning his poor beaten body. A year of scans and biopsies. A year of holding our breath. A year of calendars filled weekly with appointments. A year of doctors and nurses. A year of hospital rooms, food and machines beeping. A year of getting woken up in a panic in the middle of the night because his port needle dislodged or he is having nightmares. A year of simply not being able to fall asleep for the fear of the unknown. A year of becoming parent doctors. A year of not always being able to kiss both of your children in the same day. A year of not being able to take your kids to the park, zoo, community pool or a simple play date with friends. No school, birthday parties and countless holidays missed.

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A year of watching my son be the strongest fighter there ever was. A year of being amazed and impressed with his ability to bounce back for the next hit. A year consistently being proud of him and all that he has gone through yet he still smiles through it all. A year of his independence growing to a whole new level. Being proud of him for fighting for his choice and right to choose. A real life super hero. My hero.

WarriorAndy BugsbyKarter, Warrior