The Rodeo at Florida Agricultural and Wildlife Expo (FAWE) will feature Children’s Dream Fund participant 12-year-old Jackson Carter. He will be riding in the grand entry. This will be the first time he rides a full size horse.
Jackson was born April 5, 2005. When he was 9 years old, he experienced what everyone initially thought were growing pains at a golf and tennis camp. Just to be safe they decided to take an x-ray of his leg. The x-ray showed a large growth. They needed to look at it further, but they were reasonably sure it was cancerous. Jackson was diagnosed with osteosarcoma.
He had surgery to remove the cancer from his bone. Part of the bone in his leg was replaced with a prosthetic bone. As he grows he goes in once a month to have his prosthetic bone expanded to match his growth. He has reached the maximum expansion of his prosthetic bone and will have to have surgery to replace the prosthetic with a larger one in the near future.
After his third chemo treatment, he was introduced to the Children’s Dream Fund. They approached his family and at first his mother Caroline was concerned since she thought that these charities only reach out to terminally ill children. She was worried that they knew something that she did not, but they explained that they provide their services based on diagnosis not prognosis. Caroline wishes to let other parents know that this is the case. Their dream coordinator explained to her that they also help kids who had survived traumatic diseases.
Jackson had the dream of meeting the family in the Country Bucks television show on the A&E network. Many of the celebrities only spend a short time with Dream Kids, but Country Bucks had Jackson and his family stay at their house for five days in March 2016. During that time the Carters were treated as if they were part of their family. They went fishing, rode ATVs, played on their frisbee golf course, spent time in their saloon playing pool, sang and told stories. While he was at Country Bucks, Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty stopped by.
Jackson was interested in meeting the Country Bucks since he enjoys their show. He also likes to hunt and be outdoors. Jackson was ten when he shot his first boar with a rifle. Jackson and his father travel to Perry, Florida to hunt for deer, boar, and turkeys.
I met Jackson and Caroline at Mid-Way Farm & Ranch Supply. Mid-Way was outfitting Jackson for his rodeo appearance. The owners of Mid-Way Truman and Peggy Campbell and their two daughters helped to outfit Jackson with boots, jeans, belt, shirt and a cowboy hat.
Jackson was excited about how his pants fit over the boots. The pants get bigger around the boots, he found that amusing as he looked at himself in the mirror. He was having trouble walking around in the boots and was shocked that they made him significantly taller than his high tops.
Be sure to watch Jackson in his first rodeo experience during the Grand Entry of the Brooksville Rodeo on January 20, 2018 at 7:30PM. The Brooksville Rodeo is part of the Florida Agricultural Wildlife Expo taking place at Brooksville Tampa-Bay Airport, Runway Drive off of Highway 41. (The rodeo will also be held on Sunday at 2PM)