In April of 2012 I started traveling daily to Philadelphia on the train for proton radiation treatments each day for eight weeks. I was lucky enough to be close to Philadelphia and be able to travel home each day. This allowed me to continue to do many things I enjoyed because I did not need to live in Philadelphia for eight weeks; however, some people aren't as fortunate and need to live in hotels away from home for a few months while having radiation treatments. After the two hour or more treatment each day, these kids need to rest but also have a lot of time to fill while away from friends and most of their family. These are the people I am looking to help by providing free things for them to do while in the area so they are able to have some normal parts to their lives. Since it is so expensive to live away from home, it is many times not possible for patients' families to afford to do fun things to relieve their stress.
I'd like to share a little bit about my history and why I started this foundation. In October of 2011 I took a very hard hit while playing quarterback for my middle school football team, and I immediately came out of the game. Later that night I went to the emergency room to find out whether I had a concussion. The doctors told me I did not have a concussion, but I did have an abnormality on the right side of my brain and suggested I see a neurosurgeon the next day. After having an MRI and talking with my doctors, it was decided I would need surgery, which ended up being on my thirteenth birthday. During the surgery they discovered that I did had a brain tumor, and it was not able to be completely removed. Unfortunately, there was a need for an additional surgery within a few weeks which was two days before Christmas, and a third surgery was needed a week later. Within eight weeks I had three brain surgeries, which took a toll on my energy levels. Luckily, I did not have any lingering physical problems from any of the surgeries. Throughout this experience, I missed many weeks of school, but I was able to keep up with my school work with the help of a tutor.
My name is Carter, and I am the founder of the Carter N. Bowman Foundation. I'm a sophomore at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. My foundation is a non-profit organization designed for the sole purpose of helping kids. I work to raise money to help kids have some enjoyable times while having treatments at the proton radiation treatment center in Philadelphia. Some of the ways I would like to help young patients are listed under the Helping Kids To Just Be Kids section of my website's home page. I hope you will read through my website and join me in helping other kids who are in a similar situation as I was in not long ago.