Local childhood cancer survivor raises money to help others

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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) -- One local childhood cancer survivor teamed up with his friends to raise money for a good cause.

Carter Gates was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia when he was 7 years old. Now he's in middle school and doing much better.

“Sept. 23, it’s my one-year anniversary off treatment," Carter told 11 News reporter Katie Pelton.

“It was a long journey. I never thought I’d reach the end. Three and a half years, it’s a really long time, especially through cancer. It’s like being in jail for three and a half years. It’s terrible," Carter said.

On Saturday, Carter and his friends held a craft sale in Colorado Springs to raise money for Children's Hospital Colorado. The group is called 'Crafts for Cancer.' They are doing it, in part, to raise awareness in September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

“Me and my friends want to help other people because it was hard for … me and all my friends through the journey," said Carter. "We don’t want that to have to happen between other people and we don’t want other kids to have to suffer through it like we did.”

Carter's mother told 11 News the kids have been holding craft fairs for several years.

“They were 9 when they started this in third grade," said Kelly Gates. "They’ve even had a tour at the lab at Children’s where all their money goes. They named the hydrogen freezer after them. They have a little plaque on the freezer up there that says 'Crafts for Cancer.'"

"They’ve stuck through him through this whole journey and been there for him. He couldn’t have a better group of friends," she added.

The group made several items to sell at the yard sale.

"Everything’s homemade," said Carter. "We have everything from cookies to wood crafts to candles.”

On Saturday, one woman gave Carter and his friends a $500 donation.

“I actually thought I was going to pass out. Someone just walks up, gives me a $500 check and I’m like, ‘What?' I was like, just passed out, like I was just shocked."

Through the years, the group has raised more than $5,200 in donations for Children's Hospital Colorado. Click here for more information on 'Crafts for Cancer.'