Charles (Chad) Clinton Carr was granted his angel wings on November 23, 2015 after a heroic 15-month battle with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG. He was surrounded by his brave and loving family – parents Jason and Tammi, and brothers CJ and Tommy. While they are heartbroken to have lost this sweet boy here on earth, they are joyful that he is without pain, running and jumping in heaven.
The beautiful blonde-headed boy with bright eyes and a sweet smile became everyone’s little guy upon his diagnosis. Photos released showed Chad with his arms wrapped around his mama’s neck, excitedly talking to his older brothers, with nothing but love in his eyes. It was clear this sweet boy needed to survive, and his family declared as much.
“ChadTough” was born to label the fight they would all undertake, always framed in orange – Chad’s favorite. It adorned bracelets, t-shirts, hats, and was written in social media posts. Medical professionals and prayer warriors came out in droves as Chad visited specialists and participated in trials with new treatments. It couldn’t have been fun to be poked and prodded but, through it all, Chad showed incredible strength and joy.
When Chad’s family made the painful announcement that his tumor was progressing, we all wept along with them. It wasn’t fair to be robbed of this angel baby here on earth. It wasn’t fair after the fight he was giving. It wasn’t fair.
And while Chad’s family had to feel like it wasn’t fair, they reminded us of all the angel babies out there who needed our prayers. Of all those kids out there putting up a fight. Of all the families weeping over their precious babies. ChadTough wouldn’t let us forget that there are countless children – present and future – who need our support.
That is the legacy Chad Carr began in his short five years. He showed us that it’s always about so much more than ourselves. Chad and his family could have closed themselves off from the outside world and mourned their own fate. Instead, they shared their lives with all of us so that we could all be better people. So that we could remember that we need to make the most of the time we have with each other. So that we could remember that life is about making someone else’s reality better.
None of us can say we’ve never met a child with cancer. Even if we never met Chad face-to-face, we knew when he had a tough day, when he had a great day, when he had a beach delivered to his backyard, when he had an all-holidays-in-one day, when he went to Disney, when he loved his brothers, when he snuggled his mama, when he was held up by his daddy. We now know what it’s like to see a precious child fight an incredible fight only to be taken home to God.
Most kids don’t have the platform Chad had to tell their stories, which is why Chad and his family made the most of theirs. The children who don’t have a national voice were given one by Chad Carr, the beautiful blonde-headed boy with the bright eyes and the sweet smile.
An open visitation will take place from 11:00 am-1:30 pm followed by a celebration of life from 2-3 pm on Sunday, November 29, at the Saline High School Performing Arts Center (1300 Campus Pkwy, Saline, MI 48176).
The family is asking those attending to wear orange casual attire and that, in lieu of flowers, donations are made to the ChadTough Foundation.