At PCRF, we love celebrating survivors every chance we get. But we also celebrate the bravest warriors of them all, and their courageous fight in the battle against cancer. Every day, we hear stories about communities and families rallying together to raise awareness in their loved one’s memory. Stories that are incredibly inspiring and powerful. Stories that move you to make a difference.

Despite the incredible progress in research advancements, pediatric cancer still claims the lives of more children than any other disease. It robs children of their innocent joy, of their future plans, of their family time. Pediatric cancer is a journey no family ever wants to take.

This Valentine’s Day, we are remembering our loved ones – whose lives deserve to be shared and celebrated today, and every day. These cancer warriors inspire us to keep pushing forward, fighting for a cure. Their legacies continue to live on by the efforts of their friends and family.

Carter was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia one month before his 5th birthday. He underwent chemotherapy treatments at CHOC for 21 months before finding out he relapsed on July 5, 2017. He passed suddenly due to a rare infection that occurred as a result of chemotherapy treatment.

Carter Ankeny is remembered as someone with a contagious smile and a fighting spirit. His mom, Jamie, shares cherished memories of Carter, his passion for life and the lasting impact he left on the world.

“Dear Carter,

I remember how your smile lit up the room.

I remember your high fives.

I remember your fists pumping high in the sky every time the Broncos, Trojans, or Lakers won or made a good play.

I remember the look on your face every time your Chapman Baseball team scored a home run. You were the first to greet them in a dugout with one of your monster high fives.

Your joy was infectious, your smile contagious.

You lit up a room and gave the very best hugs. The hugs that would envelop you and hold you in and could heal a broken heart or a bad mood.

I remember the hospital stays- you dressing like Captain America in the halls and “looking for bad guys”

I remember that sparkle in your eye when you would ask to play baseball every, single, morning.

I remember your dance moves, booty shaking, legs flailing, dancing, and loving life. I remember at Disneyland- you dancing full out to the fireworks music as a group full of trained Disney performer dancers looked on watching the fireworks… but you were the better show that night.

I remember you telling me how much you loved me, how you loved me 1,000 percent, 100,000 percent, 1 million percent, that even when we were apart I was always in your heart and your brain.

I remember your fight. I remember your drive.

I remember your love of Tay- how you would call her “baby Tay.” How you would narrate what she was doing, laugh at the things she would say. I remember how she would copy your every move, the way she looked up to you, admired you, loved you.

I remember reading books on your bed at night then doing “group hugs” before bed- you always liked when daddy nudged you so you would “timber” down to the bed. You always wanted, “one more hug.”

I remember your passion for music, for baseball, for Legos, for Mythbusters, for life.

I remember you apologizing even on one of the last nights of your life- telling daddy how you were sorry for making him get up, for continuing to ask to eat even though he wasn’t allowed to.

I remember holding you after you were gone, not wanting to ever let go, the bottom of my heart completely gone for good, my life forever changed.

I remember crying and sobbing and running out of tears- my body completely dehydrated and numb now that my beautiful six-year-old boy was gone.

You went through so much- more than any child ever should. We wish for you and your endless passion, joy, and love to still be with us today. But we follow your lead- we continue your fight, we try to live life to its fullest- the way you showed us how. We fight for you and try to spread your story, to spread awareness, and to fund research so we can know more, do better, and help these kids survive and thrive and not worry about a life affected by childhood cancer. We make sure you are not just a statistic; that even though your life had to end- your story doesn’t have to. You fought to the end and showed us what it truly meant to be #Carterstrong. Now we carry on your legacy of strength, kindness, and love by being #CarterStrongForever.

Love, your mommy (Jamie Ankeny)”

You can join with individuals and businesses who believe in the hope for a cure through research. Donate today to honor Carter’s memory – and help researchers get one step closer to finding a cure and better treatments for kids just like him.