Boy with rare skin disorder befriends dog with same condition

Henrietta Brewer
March 22, 2017

The two have known each other digitally for the a year ago.

Carter Blanchard, from Searcy, Arkansas, suffers from vitiligo - a long-term condition that causes pale patches to develop on the skin, caused by a lack of melanin.

Carter Blanchard and Rowdy, a 13-year-old Labrador retriever from Canby, Ore., have finally met up after being online buddies. The canine and kid connected on the internet.

Rowdy advocates for people who have Vitiligo. Carter fell in love with Rowdy and immediately began to feel better about his disorder. It causes the loss of skin color in blotches.

"Carter was diagnosed and got Vitiligo the exact same month and year that Rowdy did", Carter's mom Stephanie Adcock said.


She says Carter was having a hard time with confidence until he met Rowdy. It changed his childhood for the better.

Carter, for example, began struggling with his self worth after his appearance changed when he was in kindergarten, his mother, Stephanie Adcock, said.

It was around that time that Adcock saw a photo of Rowdy by chance while scrolling through Facebook.

"It couldn't be any other person that made him feel better... it had to be Rowdy, it had to be a dog", him mother explained.

Adcock described the trauma her son suffered when he received his diagnosis and had to come to terms with such a visible disorder.


Carter and his mother were flown to OR to meet Rowdy over the weekend.

Carter and his mother chose to reach out to Rowdy's owner, Niki Umbenhower, who lives across the country from Carter over in Canby, Oregan.

"I had goosebumps when I think about the moment they walked through the door", Umbenhower told Fox 8.

She added, "The first thing he'd tell me when he got in the vehicle is that he hated his face and hated the way he looked". After an impromptu photo shoot, the boy and his new four-legged friend can keep their memories forever. "He needs some more on his back", Carter said. Doctors are running tests to find out what is wrong with the dog. Though he appears to be stable now, the latest update says that it's still unclear if this was an isolated incident or a precursor to something more serious, so if you want to donate to help cover medical costs, you can do so through his GoFundMe page.


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