When our son Carter was nominated and selected as a 2014 Riley Champion, it was quite the honor. We were prepared for a year full of fun and opportunities that only come once in a lifetime. Carter was featured center court at a Pacer’s game, served as a coin toss kid at a Colts game, and most recently presented a red wagon to Justice Loretta Rush, the first annual Riley Champion for Children recipient.
At the reception for Justice Rush, Carter said to me “I don’t want this year to end.” He is enjoying telling his story to hundreds of people, giving them hope, and making friends along the way.
This year has given us more than just fun. It has given us an extension to our family. The other Riley Families and advocates have been by our side for the entire ride.
Carter is currently on a travel baseball team which keeps us more than busy. His team traveled to Carmel a few weekends ago, and much to his surprise, he had his very own cheering section with signs and all. It was Purdue University Dance Marathon Alumni. They came out to support Carter and wish him a happy 10th birthday.
Last weekend Carter’s team had a weekend long tournament in Warsaw, Ind. A fellow Riley Champion, DylanShumaker, made the trip to see Carter play. It meant a lot to us that he took the time out of his busy schedule to support Carter in one of the things he takes most pride in: BASEBALL. Carter had one of his best games that day with Dylan in the stands cheering him on.
The friends we have made during this journey are irreplaceable.
As the author Anais Nin said, “Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
Our worlds are multiplying rapidly and we couldn’t fee more blessed.