Today, I’m so excited to introduce you to my new friend, Carter and his mother Davida.
In June 2019, while on a family vacation in New York, Davida Jackson and her family discovered her three-year-old son, Carter had leukemia. The hospital staff wanted to begin treatment immediately in New York, but they returned to Children’s of Alabama to begin the long journey ahead.
While at Children’s, Davida and Carter have received exceptional service during their cancer treatment. Through his adversity, Carter is full of joy. He loves the outdoors and playing with bubbles. Even when he is hurting, you can see his beautiful smile confirming that everything will be ok. His favorite meal is -McDonald’s French fries, which he has every day.
During one of their daily McDonald’s run, I noticed Davida and Carter waiting in line. As I normally interact with guests when I enter one of my stores, I engaged in a conversation and learned about this charming, little man and his daily fight. As a father, I cannot imagine the anguish that Davida could be feeling but all I saw were smiles of joy. I felt compelled to leave Carter with a memory that he could cherish for years to come and offered one of my paintings. Carter selected “Blue Halo”. I had the painting matted and framed and we scheduled a time for me to meet. Unbeknownst to me, when I entered the store, I saw a group of supporters rallying around Davida and Carter for this occasion.
From my conversation with Davida, this is nothing unusual, her family is always there cheering her along. It is moments like these that encourage Davida to keep going. Her faith and family fuel her to press towards the mark during this three-year journey. As a mother of six children, ranging in age from 3 to 17, sometimes it is challenging balancing between homework, basketball games, and Carter. Davida points out that “If I didn’t have family – I would be lost.”
Her family provides support and is the cheerleader for her children when she cannot make it. She reminds herself to “Keep God first and he will give you a sign that things will be ok.” She recently created a Facebook Page called Carter Conquering Childhood Cancer C4. This page is designed to serve as support for others who may be experiencing something similar and to provide encouragement during this tedious process.