Up until now, Rowdy - a 14-year-old black Labrador with vitiligo - and Carter - an 8-year-old boy from Arkansas only communicated through social media. It couldn't be anyone with vitiligo that made him feel better. It causes the loss of skin color in blotches.
The whole experience has been incredibly emotional for Stephanie, who is so glad Carter is finally gaining some confidence back.
Stephanie Adcock said her child regained confidence after meeting his digital friend, Rowdy, in real life. "As his mother, it broke my heart that I could not change this situation for him". "It changed his childhood for the better, and it was a gift I couldn't give him", she noted. That was until Adcock found photos of Rowdy on Facebook. "I read that Rowdy had vitiligo and I was blown away, and when I showed Carter he was so excited to see a dog that was famous for his vitiligo".
Money was raised so the family could make the trip to OR to meet Rowdy. When the story of Carter and Rowdy's friendship was featured on Oregon ABC affiliate KATU, an anonymous viewer donated $5,000 to help fly Carter and his mom to Oregon to meet Rowdy in person.
"When we walked in, I didn't feel like we were walking in for the very first time". "The skin will develop a patch of pink or white, but it will lighten the skin in that area", Umbenhower said.
"I wasn't 100 percent sure we were going to get them together, and now we have those memories", said Adcock.