Their wish journey began when they were surprised to know that Carter’s physician had nominated him for a wish. His mother recalls their family’s experience with meeting the wish granters for the first time, “They gave our family a feeling that cannot be described. It’s hard to explain the feeling of knowing a group of people who wanted to put Carter first always in every decision…As a mother, I try to do my best to put Carter first, and it’s hard to have other people understand why. I felt the support from [them] like I’ve never before.”
Upon meeting him, Carter’s wish granters learned that his life-threatening medical condition had not stopped him from being an active, adventurous, avid Spam can collector. Carter was diagnosed with an especially rare chromosomal condition leaving him with severe disability and abnormalities. His family was told that only five to ten percent of children diagnosed within their first few weeks of life live past the age of one. 9 years later and nothing can stop his contagious laugh and adventurous nature. Though some days can feel like an uphill battle, they strive to make the most of their time together.
Being nominated for a wish just a month before his birthday was perfect! With Carter being non-verbal, his wish granters and Carter’s parents did their best to discover his wish, “Knowing that our wish granters genuinely cared to know Carter, inside and out, and did everything in their power to give him the best wish possible, was exciting and life changing,” expressed his mother. They knew he also loved to “ride things,” so they chose “to do a bunch of things that would stimulate that part for him,” recalled his mother.
They decided on a magical staycation at Turtle Bay with his family where they could go on several adventures together. His wish granters took his wish a step further and thought, since he loves to go on adventures and collecting spam cans, why not have him go on an exciting treasure hunt for spam cans around Turtle Bay that would lead him to “buried treasure,” a surprise 9th birthday party!
With his is lucky Spam can in hand, Carter had an adventure of a lifetime, riding ATVs, horses a helicopter and searched for buried treasure. Carter’s mom was overwhelmed by his wish experience. She could not get over how happy and willing Carter was to try so many new things. His stepdad put it all into perspective telling the wish granters that they appreciated the opportunity to take Carter to places they would never have taken him before for fear of how he would react. The wish opened new doors for Carter and his family. After his wish come true, his parents even enrolled Carter in therapeutic horseback riding lessons!