Eight-year-old Karter Whittenberg, to his family, is the glue that holds them together. He's described as a sweet and loving boy. His mother Christin is a proud parent and she bragged about her son being an all-star basketball player at his school.
"He loves basketball," Chrisitin said. "He is a huge Golden State fan."
Karter has C1Q Nephropathy Syndrome. It's a disease where amounts of C1Q protein end up in a person's kidneys. Karter's mom said the disease eats on those organs. Ultimately, Karter will need a kidney transplant.
For now, as the eight-year-old is recovering, Karter had a special wish. He wanted shirts from fire departments, all made into a blanket. His mom turned to social media for help, and since posting early January, fire departments from as far as New York, Chicago and Germany have responded.
Seeing the support one package at a time is surreal to Karter's grandfather, Chris Anthony, who is the fire chief at the Eustace Volunteer Fire Department.
"You sit here and think about people half way around the world thinking about your grandkid," Anthony stated.
While each t-shirt is a sign of encouragement. Karter said his motivation to leave the hospital and go back to playing basketball is his idol, Stephen Curry and he hopes to meet the Golden State champion once he recovers.
If you would like to donate t-shirts to Karter, you can contact his mom on her Facebook page.