Carson Thomas Richardson was born an amazing blessing to his mom, dad, big brother, and all those who awaited his arrival. He was a beautiful baby boy, always happy, always sweet. Carson grew and developed as most children. He loved to laugh, play ball, push cars, and be a typical little boy. Life in the Richardson home was happy and wonderful.
When Carson was 3 ½ he began experiencing stomach aches, tiredness, and night sweats. After going to the doctor and running tests a phone call came at 9pm on a Monday night in August. The doctor said they found tumors and that they needed to wake Carson up and immediately take him to Medical City, an oncologist would be waiting for them. After a CT scan and biopsy it was confirmed that Carson had Stage IV Hepatoblastoma, one of the rarest forms of pediatric cancer. It originated in his liver and had metastasized to his lungs. For the Richardson family the world stopped. Their sweet, angelic son had a beast growing inside of him and they were devastated. The next 3 ½ years would bring many ups and downs. The family had to learn to accept help from others and more than ever put their faith in God.
After 4 months of chemo and a liver resection they thought the cancer was gone. Carson had normal tests for the next 4 months and the family was closer and closer to feeling normal again. That would all end when the tests revealed the cancer was back. The family would spend the rest of Carson’s life fighting. Over 3 ½ years Carson would endure over 50 rounds of chemo, days on end in the hospital, 7 surgeries (all out of state), weeks of daily radiation, 100’s of blood draws and IV’s, countless doctor visits, dozens of blood transfusions, losing his hair 3 times, losing part of his hearing, a trial study, and treatment out of the country.
The wonderful thing about Carson is that through all that he endured he remained the most amazing little boy you could have the privilege of knowing. This was a little boy that even at a young age put others in front of himself. He never wanted anyone to be sad, mad, worried, or hurt. This was a little boy who would not let cancer define him. He would define himself by the way he lived his short years with his loving, giving, and caring spirit.
Carson never lost his love for life and lived every day to the fullest. Around chemo, surgeries, and other treatments Carson attended school, played sports, took piano lessons, and spread joy wherever he went. Carson had a huge love for learning and always excelled in all that he did. He gave everything 100% always! Carson’s classmates all described him as their “best friend”. That was the kind of kid Carson was. The kid who amazed those around him.
Carson had a love for the Lord that was always evident in the lessons he taught those around him. He accepted Jesus into his heart and was baptized on January 17, 2010 (his daddy’s birthday). He also had a love for his family that was just as evident. He was daddy’s “mini me” with his looks. He was an incredible brother to Collin, always willing to do whatever big brother would come up with and always creating tons of laughs, a true best friend. He was also a self proclaimed “mommy’s boy”, never hiding his desire to be with his mom.
After seemingly getting so close to beating cancer so many times the family learned in September of 2009 there were numerous tumors spread across both of Carson’s lungs. A couple months later a tumor came back in the liver as well. At this point options narrowed drastically. And though they continued to fight with all that they had, on February 27, 2010, while in his mother’s arms and with his dad by his side, Carson would leave this world and return to his Heavenly Father who created him. On that day the world for the family would once again stop and life would never be the same.
In 2011 the Richardson’s welcomed a new baby girl into their family. Caroline is a blessing that has brought much needed joy and laughter back to the Richardson home and has given Collin the ability to be a big brother once again. Caroline is labeled a legacy baby, a child that will grow up only knowing their deceased sibling through stories. She will know him well. There are many amazing stories and memories to share of the sweet hero who would want those who knew him to smile, laugh, and love life just like he did.
Carson’s courageous fight with cancer may have came to an end in 2010, but his battle against cancer and his desire to help others continues through Carson’s Crusaders Foundation.