Road race to benefit paralyzed Sullivan resident
12/30/2002
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KINGSPORT - To his family he is "Daniel." To his friends, "Danny."

But to all who know him - know his dedication, determination and discipline - he is inspirational.

It's always been that way, his father says - even before the tragic event last year that left the student athlete paralyzed from the chest down.

Now his family and friends - along with Kingsport First Night - have a way for people to offer Danny some inspiration.

The General Shale/First Night Kingsport Danny Carter Benefit 5K Road Race, a certified 3.1 mile event, will raise money to assist with Danny's ongoing medical costs.

Among the race's featured participants are Danny, and "Big Tom" of Survivor fame.

"Some fathers get to see their son take his first steps only once," Danny's father - also Danny - says in a biography he wrote for his son's Web page. "Someday, I'll get to see my son take his first steps for the second time."

Danny is moving toward that accomplishment already - a recent trip to a Missouri hospital specializing in spinal cord injuries proved very promising, Carter said.

Danny moved his legs during that visit and equipment available at the hospital showed Danny's muscles were responding.

He's scheduled to return to Washington University SCI Rehabilitation Department in Missouri in January. There, Christopher Reeve's physician, Dr. John McDonald, is one of the leading researchers for the Cure for SCI. The program that Daniel hopes to be a part of will put him at the best place in the nation for possible insight and real help to his injury.

It offers "real hope" for Danny, his father said, and the whole family has faith Danny will walk again.

"We pray for the day that God will see fit to 'only say the word' and Daniel will be healed,'' the elder Carter said. "We will never give up."

Danny was hurt last August during a scrimmage at Emory & Henry College. After a tackle, his father said, Danny simply could not get up.

He spent several months at a rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta before returning to the family's Boone Lake home - and just finished a semester at Northeast State Technical Community College.

For the 5K road race, each runner is asked to get sponsors - their own friends and family - to give $20 and support their run for Danny.

Donations may also be made by people not running or sponsoring someone in the race.

Church Circle in Downtown Kingsport is the start and finish for the race, which starts at 6 p.m. New Year's Eve.

A registration tent will open at 4:30 p.m. that day. Registration is $12 and each runner gets a free T-shirt.

Trophies will be given for winners in the following age categories:

12 and under, 13-15, 16-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60 and older.

There will also be a Masters (40+) and Grand Masters (50+) trophy.

The Danny Carter Benefit tent will remain open until after the New Year celebration in the hopes that people will continue to donate.

More information on the General Shale/First Night Kingsport Danny Carter Benefit 5K Road Race can be found at www.dannycarter.net.
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Published: December 30, 2002
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