Nothing is more difficult for a kid than looking different from his peers because could lead to teasing and, sometimes, even bullying. So, when Carter Blanchard of Searcy, Arkansas was diagnosed with vitiligo back in kindergarten and began to develop plenty of white patches on his skin, he was understandably ashamed to go to school and face his classmates.
“He was at a big school with a lot of kids, and his face was transforming very quickly. The first thing he’d tell me when he got in the car is that he hated his face and hated the way he looked,” Carter’s mom Stephanie Adcock recalled.
Now 8 years old, Carter feels glum about his condition from time to time but has finally come to terms with the diagnosis, especially after meeting a dog who is actually famous for having the same condition!
Stephanie was finding ways to cheer her son up when she chanced on Rowdy, a purebred black Labrador retriever who lives in Oregon. Incidentally, Rowdy was diagnosed with vitiligo in the same year as Carter – and they both even have patches on their faces that look similar!
Much relieved, Stephanie told KATU, “I read that Rowdy had vitiligo, and I was blown away. When I showed Carter, he was so excited to see a dog that was famous for his vitiligo.”
Carter and Rowdy became friends, thanks to Niki Umbenhower, dog’s owner who selflessly shared her dog to cheer the boy up.
A long distance friendship developed with their respective families. KATU readers launched a GoFundMe campaign to get the two to meet each other. It was a beautiful moment.
Stephanie recalled, “It couldn’t be any other person that made him feel better. It had to be Rowdy. It had to be a dog.”
“I have goosebumps when I think about the moment they walked through the door. I’m getting emotional, it’s amazing,” Niki gushed.
Carter’s mom was very happy with the support the KATU readers had extended.
“I wasn’t 100 percent sure we were going to get them together, and now we have those memories,” Stephanie added. “This is far more than we ever deserved, and so we are just overwhelmed with the support.”