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04-05-14  Co-Host Carter N. Bowman

Helping Kids To Be Just Kids

In so many instances, the costs of medical treatments can be a real hardship on families, especially when it is necessary to be away from home for many weeks or months depending on what type of care is needed.  The University of Pennsylvania Proton Radiation Therapy Center is one of the most advanced treatment centers in the world and specializes in treating children and teens with brain tumors.  Patients come from around the country and the world for specialized treatments.  However, the daily treatments that last six to eight weeks often require families to relocate away from home for an extended period of time and to incur additional living expenses without insurance coverage for these costs.

Many organizations focus on raising money to donate to research activities to find a cure to many health issues.  These efforts are wonderful and very much needed but I’m looking to do something different with my efforts.  The Carter N. Bowman Foundation is focused on providing kids and their families the opportunity to enjoy activities, at no cost to them, while undergoing extended cancer treatments away from home.  The real goal is giving kids the chance to take a break from the grueling routine of treatments, testing and appointments and provide a stress-free way to let them just be kids!  By working with the

staff at the proton therapy center to recommend eligible patients, they and their families could receive free tickets to visit the Philadelphia Zoo, go to a professional sporting event, receive tickets to visit a museum or art gallery, spend a day at an amusement park or enjoy a nice family meal without worrying about the cost.  The list of opportunities is practically endless!

My name is Carter Bowman and I am the founder of the Carter N. Bowman Foundation.  I’m a freshman at Central York High School in York, PA.  My foundation is a non-profit organization designed for the sole purpose of helping kids.  I am working to raise money to help kids have some enjoyable times while having treatments at the proton radiation treatment center in Philadelphia. .

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 or not I had a concussion. The doctors there told me that 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 have a brain tumor, but it could not 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.  I missed many weeks of school during this time but was able to keep up with my schoolwork with the help of a tutor.

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 still 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 alot 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 them to afford to do fun things to relieve their stress, have fun and just be a kid.

While the fund-raising efforts of many organizations are helping to discover great advances in working toward a cure to fight brain tumors, I want my efforts to be able to help kids today and make their days just a little more enjoyable.  I hope you’ll consider helping me with my goal of HELPING KIDS TO JUST BE KIDS!

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