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Street Kids Care Surprise Carter Rudd with Gifts

May 23rd, 2010 was declared "Carter Rudd Day" by Street Kids Care, as members of the organization visited the five year old boy from New Carlisle and presented him with a brand new Nintendo Wii and 15 games! Rudd is battling neuroblastoma cancer.

by TJ Jorgensen - 5/23/2010

A few weeks ago, I got an email from a woman named Denise, who said she had a nephew that was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a form of cancer. She had heard about Street Kids Softball and Street Kids Care through Scott Martin, an SKS player, and had followed our organization online for a while and decided to contact me regarding her nephew. She wasn't asking for anything more than some cheer and laughter from us and was wondering if we could help. After asking more about her nephew, I came to learn that his name is Carter Rudd, and he is only five years old!

I went to his Caring Bridge page online and learned more about this young boy with this terrible childhood cancer. I learned that he loved monster trucks, too! When I saw his pictures on Caring Bridge, my heart began to ache. How can a five year old boy be subjected to something so terrible in this world? But I would learn later that this young boy has the courage and determination of Rocky Balboa. He reminded me of our friend Dillion Weldy, another child who was diagnosed with cancer and through a lot of treatment and faith, has defeated his illness. But Carter's battle is still pretty tough, as he is making frequent trips to Riley Hospital for radiation as they are still trying to get rid of the cancer in his body.

But today was not about worrying about his cancer, but to bring some joy into the life of not only little Carter, but his parents Jamie and Ryan and his brothers (Trevor and Parker) and his sister (Ali). Also his grandparents, great grandparents and other family members like Denise and Jeff Gaines, who originally contacted me and told me about Carter. She knew when she contacted us that we are not heroes, we are not saviors, we are not doctors or spiritual healers. But she did know was that this group of softball players had a gift for taking the time out of their lives to help other people. And thats exactly what we wanted to do for Carter.

While I was talking with Denise, I asked what kind of stuff Carter liked and she said he loves Scooby Doo and monster trucks. But he also mentioned this, almost word for word (as told to Denise) "If it isn't too much, I would really like a Nintendo Wii so I can play with Trevor and Ali." Denise told me he is always thinking of others first.

When Denise told me that, she was NOT asking for a Wii or even any gifts, but she was merely telling me what he said to my question. After doing some thinking that night, I decided to contact some players in the organization and ask them if they were interested in kicking in a donation to help me purchase a Wii for this young boy. I also mentioned on my Facebook page that I was looking for anyone who had a used or new Wii I could buy or some games that would donate or sell for a five year old boy battling cancer. I posted that late in the evening, and by the time I woke up the next morning I had several emails from people willing to donate various amounts of money! I was blown away that people would do that, especially when I didn't even ask for any money! Then players started to get a hold of me and donate, and before too long, we not only had enough to get him a brand new Wii, but we got him 15 games also!!

I called Jamie (Carter's mom) and told her the news and she was ecstatic. I emailed Denise and told her the news, and I have never seen so many exclamation marks in an email! She was also ecstatic. Listening to Jamie's voice and reading Denise's email reminded me of why we do this, but today, when we went to visit with Carter and his family, was when I truly realized that our group - Street Kids Care - and the softball players within it, was brought to this point in our lives for a reason. Seeing Carter's face today when he got the Wii (wait until the video comes out in a day or two!) assured me that we are really changing lives, and its happening right before our eyes.

We presented Carter with his brand new Wii and games today while enjoying pizza in his backyard. Carter is a little shy, but when he saw that Wii, he exclaimed "you guys are awesome!" That made my day....

I want to thank the many people that contributed to make this day possible, including Home Comfort Experts who not only made a donation, but told me to take the owners Hummer H2. "Its not a monster truck, but he may like it!" they said. Turned out Carter LOVES the H2! He got to sit in the H2 and took some pictures. I also want to thank several people that are not members of the teams, but made contributions, including Beth H. and Luke F. I want to thank the following people for making contributions and/or making the trip to New Carlisle today to visit with Carter:

Kalei Enterline, Joe Horvath, JR Shapiro, Dan Garey, Teddy Panagakos, Alyssa Vath/Jason Fowler, Kyle Yerkes, Loren and Natalie Zehr, Nick Bishop, Xave Creary, Shane Varga, Jay Jeffery, Jake Fine, Joe Richard, Scott Martin and Mark Hershberger.

The things we do are not for the purpose of gaining attention to SKS or even to people like Carter Rudd and others like Max and Dillion. Its about inspiring others to do the same. If we can get other people - softball players, or not - to want to make a difference in the lives of others, especially those like Carter who are going through a rough time, then in some way, we are changing the world around us. Tonight when I tuck my daughters in to bed, and call my oldest adult son to tell him I love him, I will take a minute to remember what Carter and his family are going through. I hope all of you do the same, and throw an extra one up tonight in your prayers to the Big Fella in the sky. :)