Inland Empire: A 5-Year Old Superhero

Photo Courtesy: Jerry Davis 5-year old Carter Forsyth

Photo Courtesy: Jerry Davis
5-year old Carter Forsyth

By Sarah Sanchez

Eastvale – Whether it’s Superman flying or Spider-Man swinging, every 5-year old has a superhero. But Carter Forsyth is not like other 5-year olds, because Carter is his own superhero, with his “Papa”, Jerry Davis, following right behind him.

Carter is an Eastvale resident that is one of 300,000 U.S. children suffering from Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA). JIA is an autoimmune, inflammatory joint disease that presents with varying degrees of pain, swelling, stiffness, lethargy and a reduction or loss of mobility. Growth retardation is common in children with JIA, and this symptom is often exacerbated with medications typically used to treat the disease. Muscle weakness or loss, and osteoporosis are also possible conditions associated with JIA.

Carter had been experiencing pain and medical attention from Juvenile Ankylosing Spondylitis since July 2013, but he was diagnosed with JIA on January 6, 2014. Facing a life-long disease as a young boy is tough for Carter and his family, but this superhero doesn’t let his disease get him down.

Carter is a “shining force, radiating happiness and hope that he shares with everyone who touches his life,” according to his family. He has a big heart and a silly personality. He is also a curious boy who constantly seeks knowledge and has an amazing memory. At his recent preschool graduation, Carter told the crowd that he wants to be a scientist and study volcanoes when he grows up.

Carter and his family have high hopes that he will be able to do just that, since the treatment he is currently on has helped give him relief from the everyday pain he was experiencing. According to his grandfather, Jerry Davis, aka “Papa”, Carter is doing much better today than he was at this time last year. His latest treatment still involves a trip to Loma Linda Hospital once a month for an all-day infusion treatment, but Carter has gotten used to them, for the most part, and he hardly complains, according to Davis.

In order to raise funds and awareness of JIA, Davis will be

Photo Courtesy: Jerry Davis Carter and his “Papa” at last year’s California Coast Classic 525 Mile Ride For A Cure.

Photo Courtesy: Jerry Davis
Carter and his “Papa” at last year’s California Coast Classic 525 Mile Ride For A Cure.

participating in the 15th Annual California Coast Classic 525 Mile Ride For A Cure, hosted by the Arthritis Foundation. Last year, as a first-year individual rider, Davis raised just over $13,000. This year, Davis founded “Team Carter,” which currently has 46 registered riders participating. At press time, Team Carter is the top fundraising team at $90,000.

“Our goal is $125,000, and with three months to go, I’m hoping we can reach that goal,” said Davis.

All funds will be donated to the Arthritis Foundation to further the search for a cure.

Carter’s family also wants to give a big thank you to the Arthritis Foundation for all they have done for him. The foundation helped Carter find his current doctor at Loma Linda Hospital, who was able to find a successful treatment.

Davis says that the Arthritis Foundation also honored Carter as the official “Finish Line Juvenal Arthritis Honoree” of last year’s CCC Ride For A Cure. They are also sending Carter and his whole family to this year’s Juvenile Arthritis Conference, later this month in Florida.

“Our family is very grateful to the Arthritis Foundation and that is another reason why I, as Carter’s grandfather, will be involved in the ride every year for a long time to come. I believe in this organization and I am thankful for what they do,” said Davis.

To donate to Carter’s personal fundraiser, please visit www.525m4Carter.com.  To join Team Carter, visit www.TeamCarter525m4aCure.com. To follow the team and Carter on this journey, LIKE their Facebook at www.facebook.com/525miles4Carter. If you would like more information about this cause, you can email 525m4Carter@gmail.com.