An 8-year-old boy suffering from a skin condition has struggled to fit in and feel comfortable in his own skin, but thanks to technology he has gotten an opportunity to digitally meet someone who looks pretty similar to him and form an unlikely friendship.
The friend with a similar condition isn’t another child – it’s actually a black labrador retriever.
Carter Blanchard and the black lab both suffer from vitiligo, a skin disorder that causes the loss of skin color in blotches.
To Blanchard’s mother, Stephanie Adcock, the diagnosis was difficult to handle because she had to watch her son struggle on a daily basis with his confidence before he met his best friend, Rowdy the dog.
Adcock said at times, “I used to pick up Carter from school from kindergarten and first grade, and the first thing he would say is that he hates his face and hates his skin.”
Rowdy is a dog so he had a very different experience. Now that the lab is 14 year-old, the owner, Niki Umbenhower reflects on what happened a few years ago when she noticed something unusual on his coat. Saying that, “Around the age of 11, he started to get just a little white. I didn’t think anything of it, I just thought he was getting old.”
But as the world knows now, that was the furthest from the truth. Like little Carter, Rowdy had vitiligo.
UPDATE ON ROWDY . Rowdy saw a neurologist in the ER today. They are not sure if it was a seizure or a stroke or something else. They did a lot of tests and without a “much needed” (expensive) MRI and CT Scan, we may never know. He could have a tumor or a mass causing a lot of his issues. . We left with them prescribing a new medication for seizures as well as some codeine for his pain. This could be age related, an isolated event, or he may have more episodes like today. . I want to thank EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU for the prayers, well wishes, and support! It is truly overwhelming to see the kindness and love this pup has from around the world! We love you all! Please continue to follow along the amazing adventure we are having with Carter and his mom from Arkansas! While Rowdy started his day with a scare and a trip to the ER, he was able to end it meeting up with Carter, another beautiful little girl Emma from Eugene, and some dear family friends for a play date and then squeezed in a photo shoot to boot. . This dog never ceases to amaze me with his resilience!!
Adcock explained that the twosome share some similarities. Saying that,”Carter was diagnosed and got Vitiligo the exact same month and year that Rowdy did.” A similarity the mother and Adcock are both proud of because it has made such a difference in her son’s life. Saying that meeting Rowdy gave her son a better childhood and “a gift I couldn’t give him.”
“[Rowdy] really changed the way he saw his own skin,” Adcock told KATU.com. “It wasn’t a problem anymore. So ever since then, we have been keeping in touch.”
Dreams came true tonight!!! ❤❤ Carter and I were finally able to meet in person!! Check out my Facebook Fan Page “White Eyed Rowdy” for news clips from Oregon and Arkansas about our story!! #dreamcometrue #vitiligo #avrf #keepportlandrowdy #vitiligoworld #vitiligonation #vitiligogirls #vitiligopride #vitiligobeauty #vitiligoawareness #vitiligobeauties #nocuredontcare #vitiligo #dogs #dogsofig #dogsofinsta #dogsofinstgram #dogsofinstaworld #dogslife #handsomeboys #purelove
This past weekend, Rowdy and Carter got an opportunity to finally see one another face to face after an anonymous donor saw their budding friendship and wanted to donate money so the two of them could meet one another.
Local news agency KATU reported over the weekend that after the duo met, Rowdy suffered from a seizure and he will now need more medical tests to determine what’s wrong.
To raise money for the additional expenses, the family started a GoFundMe page.
So far over $5,000 have been raised out of the $10,000 goal set by the owner to pay for the pup’s ongoing medical expenses.
Other Must-Read Stories: