Halloween isn’t here yet, but one Florida boy is already having a memorable holiday.
Tiffany McPherson turned to social media this season to do something nice for her 4-year-old son Carter, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy as part of his treatment for leukemia.
“This year, we’ve just had some family issues,” the Winter Gardens mom told Fox News. “It just makes me happy to see him happy.”
In late September, McPherson said she used an app called Nextdoor, which helps people find out what’s going on their communities, as well as two local Facebook pages to ask people to send her son cards for Halloween — his favorite holiday.
“He loves the mail,” she explained, adding Carter recognizes his own name and knows when mail is addressed to him.
The mom said her son, who was diagnosed with pre–B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in February 2017, has been in remission since March 2017.
“That doesn’t really mean that it’s gone, just means that it’s contained,” she clarified.
The American Cancer Society calls ALL "the most common type of childhood leukemia."
"In about 80% to 85% of children with ALL, the leukemia starts in B cells," the ACS says, explaining that Pre-B ALL is one of the B-cell ALL subtypes.
Carter is in the maintenance phase of his recommended 3-year treatment plan, and currently goes to the hospital for chemo once a month, McPherson added -- but that doesn't mean the process is smooth sailing.
“I have to sit there and endure my son crying from having to have his port accessed and he’s terrified of this,” she said.
The letters offer the family some joy.
“For a full month, we get to be excited and happy,” she said, explaining Carter’s already received about 100 cards, plus other presents — like goodie baskets, candy and gift cards.
The gift cards, she said, are a big help “when he wants to go get ice cream and I can’t afford it.”
One special moment, McPherson recalled, was when a 19-year-old man studying to be an emergency room doctor was so touched by Carter’s story he came over to the house to deliver a personal gift.
The aspiring physician gave Carter presents that included superhero pajamas, a Spider-Man bucket and a Spider-Man costume — which will be Carter’s Halloween outfit this year.
“Who does that at 19?” McPherson asked, touched by the gesture.
McPherson only had good things to say about all the mail her son has received.
“It just lights up his world, it lights up mine,” she said.
If you’re interested in sending Carter a Halloween card, you can mail it to the following address:
℅ Tiffany McPherson
933 Copenhagen Way
Winter Gardens, Florida 34787