The Jackson family—Mike, Jamie, Carter, and Brayden—have made the Children’s Hospital Foundation Four Mile Fun Run an annual tradition. Since 2014, they have recruited family and friends to join “Team Carter” and participate in the fundraising event in honor of their son, who has been a patient at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU (CHoR) since he was one month old.
After spending the first few weeks of his life in the progressive care unit, Carter, now 7 years old, was diagnosed with a very rare genetic disorder called Tetrasomy 18p. Carter’s parents, Jamie and Mike, looked back on that time as new parents and remembered, “Our emotions were all over the place.”
Carter still receives occupational, physical, speech, and feeding therapies on a weekly basis at CHoR. A variety of other medical conditions—including bladder reflux and eosinophilic esophagitis, which caused great difficulty with eating and drinking—combined to cause Carter to miss many early developmental milestones. He was seven months old when he first learned to roll over, one year old when he began sitting up unassisted, and nearly three years old when he learned to walk.
“While we have had to remain patient with most milestones in Carter’s life, he works hard to overcome anything in his way,” Jamie said. “He has made such progress over the last couple of years.”
Carter learned to use sign language to communicate and recently began verbalizing certain things like calling for his mom, dad, and younger brother, Brayden. Most of his nourishment is still received by feeding tube, but Carter is continuing to make strides with practicing eating foods like avocado and green beans by mouth.
When he isn’t hard at work developing new skills, Carter enjoys many fun activities like visiting the mall to ride the miniature train, listening to live music, and playing with trucks and cars. “He really loves spending time with his family and friends,” Jamie added, “And he wants to have a party so he can see everyone almost every day!”
Help support Carter and other children who have been served by Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU by signing up for the Children’s Hospital Foundation Four Mile Fun Run to be held on Saturday, September 17 at the hospital’s Brook Road Campus (2924 Brook Road). In addition to the fun run, families can enjoy a free kids obstacle course and other kids activities, food trucks, a superhero costume contest, raffle prizes, and more. Full details and registration at www.chfrace.org.