As a freshman, Carson made the varsity lacrosse team for his high school. Less than a year later, his parents took him to the emergency room at a fall lacrosse camp in Ohio when he was struggling to stand. Carson’s white blood cell counts were almost nonexistent, and the doctors were surprised he had been playing sports in that condition. Further tests diagnosed Carson with a hematologic disorder, which sidelined Carson from lacrosse.
“He did not play lacrosse in the spring and was out of school for three months after he was diagnosed,” Carson’s mom, Merridy, said. “He went back to school when his white blood cell count was high enough and managed the lacrosse team so he could still be out there.”
Treatment proved unsuccessful so Carson’s doctors started the process to find a bone marrow donor. By October 2017, Carson underwent a bone marrow transplant at Beaumont. During this unsettling time for the family, Carson was free to dream of what he wanted his heartfelt wish to be.
Carson’s medical team approved his return to lacrosse this spring so Carson ultimately wished to have a shopping spree at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Now 17, Carson conducted a lot of online research to determine what he wanted to purchase during his shopping spree.
“[This wish] is pretty exciting because when he first got sick, we didn’t know when he was going to be able to play any sports again whatsoever,” Merridy said. “We’re glad he has this opportunity to get all new [lacrosse] gear, give him something to look forward to and getting back to playing.”
In addition to stocking up on lacrosse equipment, Carson picked out golf gear and outdoor yard games. Carson hosts an annual fantasy football draft party around his birthday each August. By stocking up on the latest yard games, Carson is anticipating a fun time with family and friends at his next party so he is no longer “behind the times” as he put it.
Most importantly to Carson, he has returned to the sport he loves. His shopping spree wish at Dick’s Sporting Goods enabled the teenager to resume activity with new gear and even custom lacrosse cleats featuring aplastic anemia ribbons.
“My lacrosse stuff is getting pretty old,” Carson explained. “It’s the same equipment, mostly, that I’ve had since I started playing. I was pretty excited to get some new stuff.”