When Chris Carlo of Odessa, FL toes the line at the Walt Disney World Marathon, his “pixie dust” moment will be crossing the finish line where his son Nathan will be waiting – no doubt with his huge smile. Nathan, a happy four year old, has been a fighter since he was born two months early with Down syndrome, even with his developmental challenges Nathan always manages to show how smart, independent and loving he is. He has found his life’s purpose by being happy and giving the gift of smiles that brighten everyone’s day.
A few weeks after Nathan’s third birthday, Nathan’s parents learned their sweet son was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common pediatric cancer. Fortunately, the prognosis for Nathan’s blood cancer is good – he was treated immediately and was in remission a month later, however his treatments will continue for more than a year to ensure the cancer does not come back. No matter how hard his treatments, he always finds a way to fight with a smile.
Not only is Nathan inspiring his dad to run at Disney, he’s inspiring a team: Nathan was selected to be the honored hero for the Team In Training (TNT) Suncoast Disney team, inspiring more than 400 TNT teammates as they train and fundraise for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).