Imagine spending more time in cancer treatment than you had even lived before you were diagnosed. This is what a lot of children with cancer go through. Many of them are diagnosed at a very young age and then spend years in treatment.
When Karter and his twin, Khristian, were just 4 months old, their parents noticed that Karter wasn’t lifting his head up like his brother. After finding a lump on Karter’s head, they went to see the doctor.
After finding fluid build-up in the lump, more testing was done, and the doctors determined that Karter was suffering from choroid plexus carcinoma. This cancer of the brain and nervous system was already at stage 3.
His parents, being young college students, and very new to parenting, took the news very hard.
“It was devastating news. We didn’t really know what to think. Just the fear of the unknown was hard,” recalled his mom, Alyssa.
Karter, being so young, handled it pretty well at the beginning, but now after 2 brain surgeries, 3 months of seizures, and 8-plus rounds of chemotherapy, his visits to the hospital are not so calm. He has been hospitalized over 50 times, causing him to cry every time he even sees the building.
“Now that he’s older (2 years, 9 months) he’s starting to understand. He now gets stressed out when he sees the hospital because he knows he’ll be touched and prodded. At home, he acts normal,” Alyssa said.
Living on a college campus 70 miles away from the hospital, has taken a toll on this young family. They have had to take turns taking Karter to the hospital, so one of them could be at home with Khristian. Neither parent was able to stay a full-time student.
Referred to Compass to Care by their social worker two years ago, Karter’s parents are so relieved to have help with gas, parking and toll fees.
“Compass to Care is truly amazing! We have been very conscious of our money, always penny-pinching. This is something, that we don’t have to think about our transportation. It’s incredible. We also don’t have to keep borrowing from our friends and family for gas, because of Compass to Care,” Alyssa shared.
Nevertheless, the road to recovery is long and challenging, your support of Compass to Care is helping to make it accessible.