Neighbor stories

Orlando child with cancer receives hundreds of well wishes from all over the world

Written by Nick Brinkerhoff

Carter McPherson is a four-year-old boy from Orlando, FL who loves Halloween. In fact, he gets ecstatic every year when October rolls around because he knows that the month will have lots of candy, and he gets to dress up as his favorite superhero.

This year, Carter’s Halloween was different.

Carter has been fighting pre-B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which requires him to go to the hospital frequently for treatment. Unfortunately, one of his treatments fell over Halloween, which meant he wouldn’t be able to celebrate and go trick-or-treating for goodies. Carter’s mom Tiffany knew this would be upsetting for him and had to do something. That’s when she thought of a great idea and logged onto Nextdoor.

Tiffany posted into her Nextdoor neighborhood sharing Carter’s story and asked neighbors if they’d be willing to send “Halloween cheer cards” to him as a way to bring up his spirit and still have a memorable holiday. Tiffany figured they’d get a few cards from neighbors in the community, but was overwhelmed by what unfolded.

When Tiffany got to her mailbox, it was overflowing with not just cards, but packages full of candy, gift cards, and other items. Senders were from all over the country, with even some sending their well wishes from Europe! One neighbor came over and gave Carter a Spiderman costume and pajamas. A group of High Schoolers in the area also dropped by the house to deliver gifts. Others sent cards filled with words of encouragement and toys. Carter, who is learning to read, loved checking the mail and reading his name on the envelopes and boxes. Overall, he’s received hundreds of well wishes.

“I was overwhelmed with joy and happiness,” Tiffany shared with People Magazine of the overwhelming response. “I could not believe it! Not only is Carter smiling but so am I.”

Tiffany also spoke with Good Morning America and shared what it meant to her to see her community come together: “I did this for my son to see pure joy, pure happiness. It’s not about the gifts he has received — which is more than I could ask — it’s the excitement on my son’s face, which is all I wanted. The fact that pure strangers across the world have taken the time to send my son something has been amazing…It has made me a stronger momma. This has definitely restored my faith in humanity for sure.”

Carter still has two more years of chemo, but the warmth he’s received from those in his neighborhood and beyond has encouraged him to stay strong.

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