CALEDONIA, Miss. (WCBI) — Caledonia parents of two daughters born with a genetic disorder that causes physical and intellectual disabilities are using their experience to help others. They are championing an important cause and have formed a non-profit organization in the name of one of their daughters. New Hope Elementary School student Rebecca Carter, just like any other child her age, was full of life and energy. “Very multi-talented. She would run the computer, the DVD, and her little MP3 player all at the same time. She was real high energy,” said Reid Carter, Rebecca’s father and one of the founders of Rebecca’s Room. Right up to the day she lost her fight to a genetic chromosomal abnormality known as Trisomy 13. She was 8 when she died in December 2011.
The abnormality effects one in 16,000 newborns. “Yep, I was at work, my wife gave me the phone call said that Rebecca wasn’t breathing, that I needed to come home quickly. And when I got here the EMTs were here working on her and just never could get her back. She just crawled up on the bed and went to sleep,” said Carter, remembering those final precious moments. Time and difficulties have not soured Rebecca’s father, a gentle giant of a man whose other daughter Kayla, faces the same physical and intellectual challenges Rebecca did. “The doctor told us when we first got her home, she may live 6 months. Then if she does, she’ll be lucky to live two years. But now she is 21 years old,” said Carter.
Knowing that some parents endure some of the same difficulties, this brave dad, with a little help from his friends, has established a charity in Rebecca’s name. He wants to make sure each child with a challenge has their very own special room. “Like Rebecca had a swing in her room that would really help her get some of her energy out. Different things you know, widen doorways out for wheelchairs, build wheelchair ramps,” said Carter of the kinds of work he hopes the new foundation will be able to assist families with. “I thank God that we were able to keep her for eight years, instead of just 2 years or one year, or three years,” added Carter. To help Reid and Cindy Carter with their non-profit organization that remodels rooms for physical and intellectually challenged kid,s you may call 662-617-9946 or 662-549-4286.
The first Rebecca’s Rooms beauty pageant entitled, “Free To Be Me” is being held at Immanuel Christian School Gym Saturday, May 11 at 11 a.m.
Be sure to visit their website at www.rebeccasrooms.org.