Community helping boy who is battling stage IV cancer

Posted at 5:42 PM, Jul 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-27 19:46:58-04

It's a long road ahead for 2 1/2-year-old Karter Strand. He's in the fight of his life, but as we saw firsthand, he is a fighter. And now the community is coming together to #SaveKarter.

"He's everything that I've ever wanted," said Laurie Strand, Karter's mother. "He made me a mommy."

"He definitely changed me," said Karl Strand, his father.
His best buddy, his father, is by his side and his mom is pushing full steam ahead.

"It's really scary that he knows that he's sick cause he's 2 1/2," she said.  "You can't explain everything to him."

Even in the midst of chemotherapy, he is all boy, hyper and throwing toys around the room.

Last month Karter was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma.
"He ended up being stage four because his bone marrow was also involved and that's one of the worst stages you can start with," said Dr. Vinay Saxena, a pediatric oncologist at Palm Beach Children's Hospital at St. Mary's Medical Center. 

"I never had a problem sleeping in my life until this happened," his dad told us.

The vibrant toddler was riding medical equipment through the hospital halls. Last month, he was on a boogie board. His parents try not to think of the future. Mostly, they're numb.
"Mad. Mad as hell. You're sad. You have a glimpse of happiness when he's acting crazy," his mother said. "Glimpse of normal kid."

But Karter is a fighter, or as his family likes to say, a destroyer.

"He's always been tough," she said. "He's just a lover of life."

Karter's parents say positivity comes from the day to day.

"Too far in the future could hold the worst nightmare that he doesn't make it, and I just can't go there," his mother said.

The family is now thanking the community for their generous donations so far, saying it helps them have faith.

They hope this can somehow become a distant memory.

"So we can do all the things we had planned," said dad. 

"It’s a really aggressive cancer," Karter's mom told us. “It’s going to be a really long scary road here."

The family has a 'Saving Karter' Facebook page set up and GoFundMe account, where they've raised more than $70,000. 

There is a fundraising event, where hundreds are expected to show up, on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Guanabanas in Jupiter.


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