By B.J. Drye, Editor
Friday, May 3, 2013 —
Family and friends of the late 3-year-old Carter Bucciero will celebrate his life and raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during the second annual Carter Day.
The event is Saturday at Locust Town Center. It will include inflatables, face painting, vendors, concessions, Harrisburg Cruisers, the Little Blue Choo from Cherryville, Zumba and other attractions.
Sarah Bucciero, Carter’s mother, spoke last week about Carter’s journey and how it will continue through Carter Day.
To recap, Carter Bucciero went through a couple rounds of chemotherapy as an outpatient. Sarah Bucciero said children younger than 3 typically do not qualify for some types of chemo because of the radiation.
Shortly after a trip to DisneyWorld in early 2012, the family found out Carter’s tumor had tripled in size, leading to the decision to begin radiation at St. Jude. After 24 treatments, his mom said he was doing well. A June 19 doctor visit showed that the tumor was smaller than originally diagnosed.
“That, in itself, was a blessing,” Bucciero said.
But during the last week of July, it was discovered he had fluid buildup, which landed him in Levine Children’s Hospital for 10 days.
Eight and a half liters of fluid were drained from his stomach, with the last sample showing malignant cancer. He was discharged on a Wednesday, but became ill that night. He was to go back to St. Jude on Monday, but the family learned the cancer had spread.
“We went back to Levine,” Bucciero said, and “had surgery Friday for a more permanent drain.”
Carter was fine until Saturday afternoon. Shortly after pain began, he started telling his family about the angels he saw.
He died at 1 a.m. Aug. 13, 2012.
“The blessing was that he went fairly quickly,” his mother said.
“We owe a lot to St. Jude for allowing us the time he had with us.
“So this is a way of honoring him and honoring St. Jude and all they’ve done for us.”
A group from Clover (S.C.) High School is called Moped to Memphis. The group is trying to raise $1 million for St. Jude by 2020.
Money raised from Carter Day will be sent to the organization to send to St. Jude. West Stanly Fire Department will also have a fill-the-boot campaign at the corner of N.C. 24-27 and N.C. 200 during Carter Day.
The first-ever Carter Day was conducted at Locust Town Center last April.
“He loved it. He absolutely loved it. Seeing all his friends,” his mom said.
“You can just see how much he enjoyed it.
“It was a very uplifting experience last year.”
In an interview for The Stanly News & Press last year, Carter’s grandfather, Gary Betz, spoke about how the community had come together.
“I am amazed at what this community has done for Carter,” Betz said.
“He is a special child and has captivated every nurse and doctor’s heart that he sees. None of us would have chosen this journey, but the volunteerism is incredible.”
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