On June 20th, 2016, Lyndsey and Chris Mandley learned that their precious son, Carter, was diagnosed with cancer at just 9 innocent months old. Carter, who loved his firefly binky, special panda bear and watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates, was the brightest light in their world. The Mandley family were crushed to learn that Carter had Extra-renal Metastatic Rhabdoid tumors (ER-MRT), a diagnosis that bears an extremely low rate of survival. As if this news was not overwhelming enough, this type of cancer can be genetic and there was immediate fear that Mason and Everett, Carter’s elder siblings, might have to face the same devastating diagnosis as Carter.
Despite the odds being stacked against them, this courageous family took on the fight together against the cancer. After the first round of Carter’s chemotherapy regimen was completed, there was a moment of hope when they learned that the tumor in his abdomen had shrunk in half and his lungs that were previously cancer ridden, had cleared. However, tragic news soon followed that the cancer had spread to Carter’s brain. The prognosis for Carter became ominous, and yet, Lyndsey and Chris never lost faith. Morning, noon, and night they prayed for a miracle, begging God to save Carter. In between prayers, the entire family spent time with one another laughing, snuggling, and watching shows while Carter’s health quickly declined. Their precious Carter passed away on October 13, 2016 – just one month after his 1stbirthday.
Lyndsey and Chris want the world to know that childhood cancer is affecting countless numbers of families around the world. Since Carter’s diagnosis at nine months old, there have been significant amounts of children being diagnosed at alarming rates. Lyndsey pleads for more funding, more research, and an end to the trauma of childhood cancer. She has started The Buttercup Foundation in Carter’s honor to help childhood cancer families in need.