A Patient's Story: Carter

Oct 1, 2023 | Cameron Smith | @cameronsmith

Carter was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in October of 2015 at the age of 7. “Carter is a fighter,” Sergeant Chad Blanchette, Carter’s father, said. “We are blessed that he never gave up and kept fighting.” Carter received multiple rounds of chemotherapy, 18 blood transfusions, 41 platelet transfusions, and experienced a roller coaster of highs and lows as he fought his way into remission, through a relapse, and then to his “re-birth.”

Through it all, Carter and his family persevered, held up by not only their family, but also friends, doctors, nurses, child life, clergy, co-workers, and Carter’s unrelenting spirit. “He never complained about diagnosis and treatment. He took it in stride, he made adjustments and fought,” said Sergeant Blanchette.

Blood products were a crucial part of Carter’s care. Platelet transfusions gave him the boost he needed to keep fighting until a bone marrow donor was found. Carter’s family urged others to sign up at bethematch.org to see if they were a match for Carter or any other family in need. Carter found a half match in his big sister Elena, who selflessly underwent her own procedure to help her little brother — to save his life.

In 2022, in honor of Carter’s five-year “re-birthday,” Sergeant Blanchette hosted a blood drive at the Rochester Police Department. “Since my fellow officers are in the lifesaving business, I could not think of a better way to show our community that we care about them than to begin hosting blood drives,” said Sergeant Blanchette. “People really do not realize the impact of giving blood. It is such a small sacrifice on your part to help save someone’s life.”

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