(COLORADO SPRINGS) – On Thursday, a firetruck, a bag of cookies, and a few words took one family’s day from good to great.
The non-profit Baking Memories 4 Kids is gifting family trips to amusement parks in Orlando, Florida to children who have fought or continue to fight life threatening illnesses. This year they are giving these amazing gifts to five families in the Denver and Colorado Springs area.
“In a couple of minutes, we’ll be headed out on this firetruck and giving a family the surprise of their lives. [Carter Gates] is a boy who had leukemia, is in remission now, but has had over 3 years of struggle,” commented Frank Squeo, founder of Baking Memories 4 Kids.
“We’ve been keeping it secret from them for a long time, which has been really hard,” exclaimed Monty Gates, Carter’s father.
“You and your sister, mom and dad are going to go to all the Orlando, Florida amusement parks,” said Frank to the astonished Carter and his family.
Everyone was excited, but Carter, the man of the hour, was blown away.
“I just battled cancer with positive attitude and I don’t know how ill ever be able to thank him,” he said.
But Frank doesn’t want thanks, he says that this is his purpose.
“Few people in life get to know why they were born, I’m one of the few.”
Stepping back into the past three years, Carter’s parents say they learned a lot from their son.
“Even at times when he was at his lowest, and he was sick, couldn’t walk, and was in pain, he would find a way to rally, and pump himself up so he could do what he had to do,” said Kelly Gates.
Carter feels he’s learned from the experience as well.
“After treatment, cancer has taught me that I want to be a nurse, and that I should enjoy the little things like walking or not being in pain for a day,” he said.
This family is setting off on their adventure come June, but Frank isn’t stopping there.
“Unless there’s a miracle and they cure every single illness that affects children, baking memories for children will outlast me and the generations after me,” he finished.