Have you ever met someone who inspired you through their extraordinary actions that they made ordinary? For 11 years, my cousin Ryan Waldheger survived with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). While Ryan ultimately lost his battle in 2007 at age 28, the impression he left on those who knew him was more profound than most people leave in a lifetime! When Ryan spoke, he captivated an audience by inspiring others to better their lives. Ryan did not see setbacks or obstacles, just paths that had to be altered. Being my oldest cousin, it was only natural for me to look up to Ryan. However, our relationship was anything but ordinary.
Ryan was genuinely thankful for each day. This personality trait did not surface occasionally; it was innate. Ryan's day-to-day outlook helped him stay committed to battling the harsh side effects of chemotherapy and four separate stem cell transplants over an 11 year period. Never once was I, or anyone, allowed to feel sorry for Ryan. He refused. Instead, Ryan looked at cancer as his "life's project"; another step in his personal journey.
Ryan's ability to stay in the present and focus on the task at hand is something I've learned to appreciate. No matter what the situation, Ryan believed in himself and his support team. As a professional athlete, my success is dependent on battling through the ups and downs and occasional curve of practice, training, and competition. After wins, losses, good games, and bad games, my thoughts often return to Ryan to provide strength and encouragement.
ABOUT ME: Hockey has awarded me the opportunity to travel the world and meet amazing people from all walks of life. After playing four years of Division I college hockey and graduating from Miami University, I accomplished my childhood dream of signing a professional contract with the Boston Bruins of the National Hockey League. Beginning in 2011 with Boston's minor league affiliate, the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League, I enjoyed a successful rookie season scoring 48 points and being named an Eastern Conference All-Star. On February 20, 2012, I earned my first NHL call-up and scored my first NHL goal against the Ottawa Senators in my third game. In the 2012-2013 season, I finished second on the team in points and our team finished with the best record in the AHL. Following the season, I signed a 1 year contract extension with the Boston Bruins. In February 2014, I wastraded to the Columbus Blue Jackets organization and assigned to their affiliate team, the Springfield Falcons. After a successful 2013-2014 season, in July I was traded to the Ottawa Senators organization and assigned to their affiliate team, the Binghamton Senators. (Binghamton, NY) I finished the 2014-2015 season with a professional career-high 52 points.
Hockey and family have always been extremely important aspects of my life. Now I have an amazing opportunity to combine the two through Carter's Assist, a campaign committed to help raise awareness of adolescent and young adult cancer. This is my way of keeping Ryan's dream alive!
HOW WILL I ASSIST?
Before any hockey goal is scored, the play begins with a valued assist. Through my success on the ice, I will provide support for The Ryan Waldheger Research Memorial Foundation (RWRM) and its commitment to adolescent and young adult cancer research. Every month, I will announce my contribution to RWRM via twitter @carter_camper. At the same time, I will make a PayPal donation of $10 for each point I scored that month. I ask you to commit to RWRM with an "assist" of your own!
HOW CAN YOU ASSIST?
I ask you to commit to RWRM with an "assist" of your own. Your PayPal donation of any amount will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for joining the Carter's Assist campaign. For a link to my stats, click here For a link to the Binghamton Senators page, click here
100% of the money raised through Carter's Assist is donated to the Ryan Waldheger Research Memorial. CARTER'S ASSIST HAS ALREADY RAISED OVER $5,864! THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT!