Community shows heart for leukemia patient’s Valentine’s
AMORY – Five-year-old Bo Carter, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 2011, was surprised on Valentine’s Day with loads of cards, balloons, gifts and a visit from the Amory Fire Department truck.
Bo has gone for treatments to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis every week since October 2011. He had to stay at St. Jude for two months when he was first diagnosed and started treatment.
About three weeks ago, while Bo and his mother, Michelle, were waiting for chemotherapy, they noticed volunteers had made some Valentine card boxes with the waiting patients. A sock monkey Valentine card box kit had been left in the waiting room and Michelle started putting it together.
Bo didn’t know what it was for and his mother explained the concept of Valentine’s Day. According to Michelle, Bo didn’t understand, but said he wouldn’t get to celebrate the holiday the same because he couldn’t go to school. He said his three-year-old niece, Bella, would get Valentine cards since she went to school.
“Bo had such a sad look on his face and it made me sad knowing he wouldn’t get to participate in any of the Valentine parties like his neighborhood friends would at school. I thought I’d put it on his Caring Bridge page and updated it to my Facebook,” Michelle said.
Terri Thornton in Amory saw the Facebook post and asked for a request for people to send cards to Bo so he could open them.
“Within a week, everything started getting bigger and bigger for him. I had no idea something like this would happen,” Michelle said.
Michelle’s brother, who lives in Wyoming, sent word out to his friends about cards for Bo. One friend who lives in Connecticut sent Bo a 5-foot Vermont teddy bear.
Bo has received gifts and cards from the East coast to the West coast, and even Canada.
All the candy Bo received has filled up three large shopping bags.
“This has been so overwhelming. Bo has received over 2,000 cards already, and lots and lots of balloons and gifts. He received two life-size Spiderman balloon and one life-size Batman balloon. Our house looks like Cupid lives there.”
Cards, gifts and balloons came from various churches, schools and individuals from across Monroe County and neighboring counties.
Bo loves fire trucks and one of Amory’s firemen, Shayne Grant, joined with some of his fellow firefighters, decided to surprise Bo with a visit that also included balloons and a card. The poster-size card said,” You Are My Hero.”
“Mama, that man said I was his hero,” Bo said to his mother.
“Bo got 50 Hot Wheels cars and lots of Legos. When we were staying at the Ronald McDonald House, I would sit on the bed with Bo and put Legos together with him,” Michelle said.
He has 41 more weeks of chemo treatment at St. Jude. His special Valentine’s Day gifts will make those visits easier for him.
Bo is the son of Scott and Michelle Carter. He has a sister, Savannah, who is a sophomore at Itawamba Community College; a brother, Drew, a senior at Tupelo Christian Preparatory; and a brother, Eli, a fifth-grader at East Amory Elementary School.
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About Alice Ortiz
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