Our Son......

22 min read
I'm going to start by saying this, what I'm about to share hopefully accomplishes a couple of things. First, bringing awareness to my son's condition, Fanconi Anemia. Second, giving you guys an inside look at my son's Make a Wish, wish.

What this is NOT. This isn't an endorsement for the staff. This will be nothing about "Fire Golden", "Bring Back Butch", "Fire Dorito", or anything like that. I will state some opinions about the staff though, but from a standpoint of how they're dealing with us. This was NOT set up as a ploy by the staff to deter attention from what is going on with the program. This was OUR request as a family. I'm hoping you guys can show some restraint here, as I'm very aware of the level of emotion within the fan base.

This is a special moment I'm sharing with you guys. If you can't help yourself, stop reading now, and exit thread right. Thanks in advance.

Carter was diagnosed with Fanconi Anemia (http://www.fanconi.org/) around May. It's the same condition that Jimbo Fisher's son, and Mike London's daughter have. For those that don't know much about it, feel free to go to the above link, or just google it. He is slated to have a bone marrow transplant on the 29th of this month. In a short and sweet explanation, because of the condition he has, it can cause life threatening circumstances to have the transplant, but it is an absolutely necessary evil if he wishes to have a somewhat normal life. So, Make a Wish foundation was called in.

We had an elaborate wish at first, but they can only do but so much understandably. What was granted was access to the Canes from 10.8 - 10.12.2014.

My son is a Canes fan, mainly because of me. He admires Duke, but LOVES Sean Taylor. From here, I'm giving you guys some views from the inside of this process. Most of the wish will fall between today (10.8), until the Cincinnati game. I will continually update this with pictures and info as this progress along.

Day 1 10.8.2014

We meet with Lindy from the Marketing side of things at 7:30am. She's in charge of a lot of things during game day as well. Coordinator of sorts if you will. She is a beast. She set up just about everything with this wish from UM's side. After meeting Lindy, she shouted across the street, and here comes Sebastian running over in the Smoke uni. Whomever was in that suit, was a stone cold clown. He was off the wall.


We were escorted inside the Hecht where Carter was greeted by two of his favorites, Duke and Denzel. They took us through all of the trophies, crystal balls and the such. Duke and Denzel are two funny dudes.


From there we went upstairs and toured some of the facilities. We ended up in Coach Ice's offices after meeting a few folks, notably Kevin Beard for me anyway. We were waiting on some group meetings to finish up to go in and actually sit in on the team meeting before practice. While waiting, some of the players meet out of the EJ Room, and the fun began. Since I'm a weirdo, and know **** near the whole team by face, I introduced Carter to maybe 20 or so players, ranging from Gray Crow and Malik Rosier, to Chad Thomas and Ufomba Kamalu.


Minutes later, it was time for the meeting. We were introduced by Coach Golden to the entire team and staff. Duke and Carter were two peas in a pod. So he sat with Duke during the meeting. Golden naturally used Carter as motivation for this coming week. We all know how great of a speaker Al is, and he did not disappoint. And for those wondering he stated that the loss fell on both the staff and the players.


To wrap up the meeting, Chick was called up to help Carter with doing the Canes Chant that Sebastian does. Goosebump inducing moment.


Next, we were whisked away to the equipment room where he was fitted for his equipment. First we meet with Coach Vinny and he taped Carter up. We meet the track coach as well, very nice lady. They then took him to the locker room where he had his own locker next to David Njoku, gave him a jersey with our last name on the back, helmet w/visor, shorts, socks wristbands, etc., etc. They geared him up and sent him to watch film with Coach Ice and the running backs.



After a few minutes of cracking on Chocolate for falling in and out of sleep, Al requested us to come to his office.


Carter, my wife and I along with some staff, were introduced to Al formally. We sat down, and Al spent some face to face time with Carter. It was a really cool moment, as you could tell, or I was sold, that he was really enamored with Carter. He spent time talking to Carter about everything from favorite subjects in school, to what was going to be worked on in practice (MONEY DOWNS!!!!!!!!!!), and even which of the helmets was his favorite. From there, we went down to the weight room.


We meet some players coming in for a quick workout before practice. Then headed out to practice.


They literally set up the entire set up for running through the smoke. Cheerleaders, band, players and the such set up the whole deal. He ran through with a few players, with players cheering him on, and was another goosebump inducing moment.


From there, practice started, and Carter and Duke were hand and hand most of the time. If Duke was getting reps, Carter waited for him, and Duke would come back to him. He played "tips" with Phillip, chatted with Herb, stretched with the team too. One of my favorite parts was Tracy yelling to Carter to come join the corners in a drill. Tracy even let Carter tackle him. Then they posed together for an epic photo.


We finished up with Carter "breaking the team down" which resulted in Sunny carrying Carter away on his shoulders. After coming down from atop of Mt. Odogwu, Jake Heaps threw some passes to Carter which was awesome. Jake is a really nice, down to earth guy.

While chatting with the players after practice, the media asked us for interviews. We were interviewed by the local CBS station, and Christy from the Sentinel.

We were then given a campus tour, and had lunch at the Rat. Then we went to AllCanes, did some shopping and finished the day up.

I'll post more videos and pictures, and 3 Penny will be doing a Raising Canes on Carter as well. The pics and vids here are done with my phone. My wife took a ton with a camera camera. It will also be on the news tonight on CBS. Here are some links too. I'll post day two tomorrow.





News Clip on CBS


Photobucket from the Wife


For anyone wanting to give to the cause.....


And before ya'll ask, yes I can play DT.

Day 2 10.9.2014

Today was shorter but packed a serious punch in a lot of areas. WARNING EYE SWEAT INDUCING MATERIAL WILL BE POSTED!

We started off by getting a more thorough tour of the Hecht. We went through the training room in more detail, meet some of the school staff such as tutors, so on and so forth. Carter was taped up again, and since it was just helmets and pants (pants padded), all Carter needed was his jersey, and helmet.

My wife, Carter and Lindy went ahead of me while I talked to Gabe (he's behind the Raising Canes) about some things, and when I was done, I started to walk back toward them and I could hear a familiar voice around the corner. I turn the corner and........


F'n Alonzo Highsmith! Meant next to nothing to Carter (will reeducate), but I about passed out. We talked about a few things, anything from how Sam Shields was doing to how AJ was doing. Meeting Kevin Beard was one thing but meeting Alonzo was another level.

Lindy continued to show us around until it was time for practice. We went up to the student athlete lounge, and then outside (balcony off of the lounge), and we were looking down into the weight room where some of the d lineman were working out, DJack noticed Carter and was waving profusely to get Carter's attention, that he received after we pointed him out. When it was time we headed out, and ended up coming down the hallway to the field at the same time as Carroll, Uncle Jethro, and Coach D. All three spoke to Carter on the way out, Coach D the most of the three. Once we were out the players were jogging on to the field at the same time. They were all very excited to see Carter, especially Chick and Tracy.

Carter and Duke picked up where they left off, and took off to get practice going.


Then it was time to stretch, and Carter again was up there to help lead. Coach Golden really got in there, to assist Carter with the process.


Chick afterwards grabbed Carter and ran off with the defense. Little while later he came back and went back with the offense. I was yacking with Kevin and Vinny (trainer), then Kevin went to where Carter was, opposite sideline of where I was standing. Then I saw Kevin jumping up and down signaling my wife, Lindy and myself. Then this happened....................


As you can tell, they switched Carter's clear visor for the same one Duke uses to help with his migraines.


Not much else to say there. They let him keep the football, the one Walter Tucker handed to him at the end of the video.

After practice was over, these three stopped by and gave Carter some personal time.


L-R Deon Bush, Corn Elder, Chad Thomas

In the back, the blonde is Lindy. She then asked for this to happen.............


Duke and I shared some words, luckily we were able to avoid the eye sweats, as it was pretty emotional.

Just when I thought Lindy was done, she set this ish up.........


Dorsett and Carter played some more tips for about 10 minutes while chatting with us. Then when we started heading back in, talked to Coach D for about 5-6 minutes about what to expect from practice, then we took off for the day. Believe it or not, I've spent more time talking to Coach D then anybody short of Kevin Beard since we've been here. On-field aside, Coach D is a REALLY GOOD dude. I really wish we were fielding top 50 defenses, because again, he is cool as ****.

That was the day today. My wife added some pictures to the Photobucket and cleaned up some things with it as well.

Also, Carter will be the Honorary Captain on Saturday. We'll be in section 144, row 6 for the game.

Day 3 10.10.2014

I missed practice today because I was doing my interview for Raising Canes. I believe they ran another play for Carter that will more than likely be in the Raising Canes video. Shout to Willy (wherrea8), for meeting us this morning, and we're thankful for the gift bag as well. See you guys tomorrow. Also, if Duke scores a touchdown tomorrow, he's agreed to gift Carter the ball.

Game Day 10.11.2014

So, Game day was packed full of moments to share. I'll be brief, because there was a lot. My wife has updated the Photobucket, there are 300+ pics from the week there. There are some REALLY good ones from game day, so check them out. I'll post some of them in this update for reference.

Make a Wish being as awesome as they are, sent a limo for us, to carry us to the game. Our first time in a limo. I didn't think much of it at first, but not having to deal with the traffic afterwards swayed me otherwise.

We get to the stadium, and I'll admit, the first thing I did was look up. Looked down at my watch and figured it we be there soon.

But on to the fun.

A few people recognized Carter and asked for pictures, Jon Vilma sent us some Brother Jimmies gear, took some pictures, and we headed over for the Cane Walk.

Carter was put in position, a few greeted him as they got off the bus. Duke came out, grabbed his bag, and Carter and him went over to Mom Dukes. She shook his hand, then gave him a hug and kiss, and off they went. There is a picture here https://miamihurricanes.exposure.co/canesfootball-vs-cincinnati that shows Mom Dukes and Carter.



From there, we made our way into the stadium to watch the guys warm up.

Chad Thomas



Raphael Akpejiori

Then we were off for the press conference. (See comments in the thread, reached the video limit.)

So we go back out to the field, and Coach Coley comes up to me and informs me that they will run a play for him in the warm ups. Got a good amount of applause for the crowd that was there.


Carter was the Honorary Captain for the game, so Blake James and Carter had some formalities, and some pictures were taken.


Sean Taylor homage...........

Then the coin toss.


We were on the sidelines for the first offensive and defensive series. On the actual sidelines, we were rocking with the players before the opening kickoff. I put Carter on my shoulders so he could see what was going on. After the punt from the defensive series, our escort told us we had to get off the sidelines and up to the box. I was yelling at Duke on our way off the sideline, "Let's get it Duke." Yelled at him twice. He grabbed his helmet and went to the huddle with Yearby running behind him.

At this point they are still in the TV timeout. Finally we get into the concourse on our way to an elevator, and we hear the crowd going bonkers, Taylor (Make a Wish rep, die hard Canes fan btw) and I look for the nearest TV, enough time to see Duke streaking down the middle of the field for a score.

I tell our escort, "Dude, Duke will be looking for Carter, because he said he'd give Carter the ball if he scores!!!!!" He said he had to take us up. So we end up going up, and they started giving us flak about clearances security wise. In the middle of the "this is Carter Hucks" malarchy, our escort gets two calls, one he ignores, the second he answers. He looks at us and says that Duke is wondering where the **** Carter is, and HE wanted us back down there. So we go back down.

On the way to the sideline, I saw the ESPN guy that they had there and told him to follow me, had tell him like 4 times, he grabbed his camera.

All of the players were yelling to Carter as we were coming on to the sideline, "Duke is looking for you!" We see Duke coming ball in hand. They shared a moment that the ESPN guy was able to catch (FOX missed it I believe, and I'll post a pic later). It was epic. I told Duke what happened, and I told him thank you, and expressed how much it meant to us.

He looks me square in my eyes and said, "I told you I got you........." That was Duke's longest career rush at the University of Miami.

Got real dusty.


If you re-watch the game you can see Carter and I on the sidelines, I had Carter on my shoulders, it was during the first series. Also, watch Duke after the score, you can see him keeping the ball close, and slightly looking for Carter. At one point he's talking to Dorsett about it while sitting on the bench. before a commercial break.

We were up in the Hall of Champions, and among those we meet were.........

Thrill himself..........

Colin McCarthy and some ex-cheerleaders.........

Then we were summoned by Donna at halftime.........

She was cool as ****. We just talked about Carter and his upcoming procedure. Then she introduced me to a VERY prominent board member. Sorry boys, I didn't go in on either of them. Going back a little, I spoke to Blake about the banner, and he laughed it off with me. He had some words about it, I won't repeat them, I'm sure you guys could use your imagination as to what he said. We spent halftime and the third with President Shalala, then we went back to the H.O.C.

From the H.O.C., we were taken down to the locker room, where Carter received the game ball. The wife wan't allowed in for obvious reasons. We said our heart-felt goodbyes, and Taylor (Make a Wish) pulls a premium of premiums. He breaks out this bad boy...........


Hopefully this doesn't rustle any jimmiesIMG_5145_zpsb908b767.webp

That was given to Taylor's mom by the man himself. She taught him in school back in the day. I could NOT bring myself to putting it on. Nonetheless, it was one of my favorite moments on a personal level.

All and all, this was an amazing experience to say the least. Thanks to everyone that has followed this thread, and to all the kind, and encouraging words shared in this thread, and through PM. We are very thankful to everyone that was involved, and look forward to being back on campus as soon as Carter is well enough to do so.

I leave you guys with this. My favorite quote from the experience was Sonny's reply to being asked if he wanted some Gatorade during practice, his response was, "I don't need any Gatorade! Gatorade is for Americans!!!!!!!!!"

UM, and Lindy Sparby strike again with this.......


Raising Canes


VT Game 10.23.2014

So we were invited to the VT game on Sunday I believe, and I was pretty hesitant at first. The first thing I wanted to know was, who was asking for us to come back? Lindy (full of win, show more love when you can), stated that they wanted to have us if we could be there. I asked to see if Al was ok with it, and obviously he didn't mind either. Uncle Jethro and Coach Hurlie were said to be very excited about us coming.

Tuesday comes around, and the hospital calls us to let us know that Carter has to have some measurements done for his radiation, and the only day could do it was on Thursday. I'm ****ed, because I wanted to get on the road early, but whatever.

On Wednesday, I put on the ESPN Jim Kelly deal to show him what the Kelly Tough deal was all about. I pulled up a picture of Jim while at UM, and to my surprise, and to some of you guy's delight, he stated how much he loved the old jerseys. Didn't say whether or not he liked them more than current or past, but stated he liked them.

Thursday, my wife takes him to the hospital to get done what needed to be done, and we are on the road by 1 o'clock, about 2 or 3 hours off of my desired schedule. One thing that struck me was how beautiful that part of Virginia is. Breathtaking coming up I77.

We end up getting to the stadium area around 6:50. Lindy was trying to get us there quick so Carter can mix and mingle, but the only freaking parking spot I could find was what felt like a mile away. So we start hustling.

Lindy tell us that they could only get one credential, and obviously that was going to Carter, so her and Carter went off, and the wife and I went to our seats. We were right behind the McDermott family, which was bountiful. They were excellent seats.

The time finally came where Carter could actually go out onto the field. Al comes all the way over to grab Carter and take him to the team who were circled up ready to do the break down before they went into the locker room before the game would start. Can't remember exactly, but I think they were hand in hand, Carter and Al. Cute moment not caught on camera sorry. Mongo confiscates Carter from Al, and what ensues is what you guys saw on tv basically.

Now before all of this, Lindy told us later that Duke finally saw Carter from a distance, and Carter did the gesture of "I've got my eyes on you", and Duke did it back. Duke came over a bit later, and chatted with Carter, and then I believe Dorsett came over soon after.

After that, in the locker room before the game, Carter told us that he gave Duke his "Play Hard" rubber band. Not sure if Duke wore it or not, but lawd have mercy did he play hard. Career night.

If you go back and watch the game over, after Duke's first touchdown, you can see him look up in the stands for Carter, but we were in the AD's box (Carter wanted to go up because it was too cold for him in the stands, his choice honestly). Blake James starts saying, "He just asked the equipment guy for Carter! Take him down to the field!" I missed it because I was watching the game on the field. They go down to have Duke give him the ball, and wouldn't you know, security wouldn't let it happen. Carter still got the ball though.

Other than that, it was just hamming it up with Blake, and some other important guys that were in the box. Before the game was over they took Carter to the locker room where the posted Vine happened. Some of the guys in the box even started coining the phrase, "Carter Factor". I'm staying away from that for obvious reasons.

While they were loading up the buses, we chatted with the players, Carter was asking for group hugs, and we said our goodbyes.

Between the aforementioned and the final score of the game, it was nothing short of an amazing trip. Blacksburg was awesome. The environment was outstanding, and the fans were some of the best I've ever run across.

To wrap this up, while they were singing/chanting "It's great to be, a Miami Hurricane", you can see Carter enjoying himself. My wife and I were laughing at the Vine, and he says from the back seat, "What? I love that song."

Blog Link for Updates on Carter through the process


I changed the name of thread. Reason? Because I feel like all of you have adopted Carter. The University of Miami, fans, and folks that don't even know him. We appreciate everything, and will keep you posted. CanesFam? It's real.

Comments (562)

The one video is still processing through YouTube, sorry.
I think this is one of the coolest things I've ever seen on any Canes message board ever. I wish you and your family well.
I think this is one of the coolest things I've ever seen on any Canes message board ever. I wish you and your family well.

Thanks man. It's been an absolute blast so far.
Awesome. This will be a very cool thing for you to look back on when Carter is on the team in 10 years.
Great moment for your son and wishing him nothing but the best
That is great to see, wish the best for your son

/Fire Golden :)
Awesome stuff. I'm 29 and would have loved to get to see and do all that. Props to the U and you and your wife for getting that setup for him.
Great story. I saw some tweets about it throughout the day.
Really cool. Good to see the players, coaches, and staff really include your son and your family throughout the different events. I'm sure you'll remember it all for many years to come. God bless.
Awesome stuff. I'm 29 and would have loved to get to see and do all that. Props to the U and you and your wife for getting that setup for him.

They spared nothing so far that I could see for Carter. NOTHING. Like I said Lindy Sparby is a beast. Show some love if ya'll don't mind. l.sparby@miami.edu

Make A Wish has been awesome too. The guy that's been on the Make A Wish side is a die hard Canes fan. His mother taught Sean Taylor as a kid, and he still has Sean's cell phone number. He called the day Sean died, and noticed that the voicemail was full, and that's when he knew. Sean also gave his Mom a game worn jersey as well. We had some serious conversation about anything from Gus running like he is Yearby, to the "skeem". Dude got it.
GREAT! Thanks for sharing and this is the most heart warming post ever. Wishing all the best to you, your son and family.
Great stuff man. Best of luck to your son.

I was wondering after I saw Christy's story if that was you.
Thanks for sharing , very cool. Wish you and your family the best.
Prayers to carter and your whole family. He obviously has a great dad for a role model. God bless
Thank you for sharing...Prayers go out for your son, you and your family and a big thank you to all the people who made it happen.
Great stuff man. Best of luck to your son.

I was wondering after I saw Christy's story if that was you.

I was thrown off at first, but I was like, why not. Not about me. She was cool. CBS guy snuck me.