Duron Carter gives ball from spectacular TD catch to young cancer survivor

Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver Duron Carter may have made the catch of the year but it was what he did with the football afterward that was truly spectacular.

Paige Hansen attended her first Rider game as a four-year-old cancer survivor, a reward for enduring the years of treatment for childhood leukemia. Now 12, she and her mom Michelle and aunt Alisa have season tickets in the front row at new Mosaic Stadium, just off the edge of the end zone.

Saturday night, the trio made a sign honouring “The Presidents” the nickname bestowed on the receiving trio of Duron Carter, Namaan Roosevelt and Bakari Grant (each shares a surname with a former U.S. commander-in-chief.) The sign got Carter’s attention, Michelle says.

“He saw us before the game and said ‘that’s awesome. If I score a touchdown, we’re celebrating,’” she says.

Carter delivered. In the second quarter of Saskatchewan’s win over Toronto, he made a spectacular grab, backhanding the ball with one hand before corralling it as he hit the ground. The catch quickly went viral and was picked up by media outlets across North America.

“When we saw him make that catch, he did his celebration, then ran all the way across the field to hand it to my daughter,”Michelle said. “We couldn’t believe it was happening.”

After the game, the family waited for Carter who signed the ball and posed for photos with Paige.

“He is a gem. On the field, you would think he’s a big old jerk but off the field, he is unreal. He is so genuine, he never snubs anyone,”Michelle said. “He is amazing.”

Football has played a central role in Paige’s life since she went to that first game back in 2009 after a tough fight with leukemia.

“It became the thing she took comfort in, a distraction from all the things she had to worry about, for both of us,”Michelle says. “The first player she met was Stevie Baggs and she gave him a little cancer rock. He knelt down and prayed with her and that was it – she never missed a game.”

The trio make the three-hour drive from Sturgis, Saskatchewan for each home contest and have developed a close relationship with a number of players over the years through Paige’s community work as an ambassador for both the Children’s Wish foundation and the Canadian Cancer Society.

“We are a football family, we love the CFL and we love the Riders,”Michelle says.

Paige took the ball back to the Regina hotel where the family was staying and was reluctant to let anyone get close to her new prized possession.

“So many people wanted to take pictures with it but she didn’t want to let go of it,”Michelle says. “She cuddled with it all night. This ball is special to us.”

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
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Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (958 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

34 Comments on Duron Carter gives ball from spectacular TD catch to young cancer survivor

  1. Dan Bombers // July 30, 2017 at 2:31 pm //

    Good on him love these kind of stories !! Love the pic with alisa sleeping with the ball

  2. greenrider89 // July 30, 2017 at 2:41 pm //

    Love the story as well. Goes nice with the game he played and helped resurrect a comeback victory for the green and white. I’m sure one of the future commentors will try to dissuade this story for something else pertaining to another western club.

  3. Hors E Power // July 30, 2017 at 2:42 pm //

    I’m happy for the girl. It means a lot to her you can tell.
    After a game where things worked out well for Carter personally we are seeing his best. Unfortunately not all games will go that way for him and we will then see him at his worse

    • Just because your not capable of personal growth doesn’t mean he isn’t. This was a great display of character by him, and a complete lack of it by you.

    • Red&White Forever // July 30, 2017 at 11:32 pm //

      I like to think we’ve already seen his worst. Maybe this kid is growing up? Remember Nik Lewis in his first 5 seasons?

  4. Hors E Power // July 30, 2017 at 3:29 pm //

    A Freudian slip by Carter?
    Wearing a red jersey perhaps suggests the team he wishes had signed him but wisely wouldn’t give him the time of day.

    • You know Mr. Hors E Ass you are just something else with the venom you spew!

    • Time and a place for your senseless comment. Thought you might have enough sense to clam up for once – sadly not.

    • Did you notice the jersey had nothing to do with football at all? Maybe because you can see nothing beyond the red colour

  5. Rider rooter // July 30, 2017 at 5:42 pm //

    Come on mr horse. Duron Carter was helping a person with a nasty sickness. Show some class this storyline has nothing to do whith football. All pro athletes support people including your stamps

  6. Wow. Feel good story about a young lady battling a deadly disease. Horsie twists it with yet another dig at the CFL, the riders and Carter.
    Petty and pathetic display of fandom.

  7. BleedzGreen // July 30, 2017 at 7:36 pm //

    Hauling in that ball showed incredible focus… Giving it to this young lady shows a lot of heart.

    Keep it coming DC!

  8. Hors E Power // July 30, 2017 at 8:15 pm //

    I really wasn’t anticipating such hostile responses

  9. Glenn Chernick // July 30, 2017 at 8:32 pm //

    The Horses Ass is a troll, don’t feed him, you are giving him the attention he craves. Sorry his mommy never loved him

  10. A wonderful gesture by Carter. A great story of fun, courage and hope by 3downnation. Kudos to everyone involved.

  11. Hors E Power // July 30, 2017 at 8:45 pm //

    I sure hope Carter can keep it up

  12. Ah, Carter, I love you. I was the guy in Calgary hassling you non-stop… you gave me the “I can’t hear you” flip…but you could… 🙂

    You really sucked when we destroyed the Riders but totally shined against a good TO team.

    So, what will it be: suck or shine? As a Stamps fan, I say step it up.

  13. Yep classless stamp fans

  14. Nice story, classy, selfless, compassionate act by DC. Nice.

  15. StampsFan // July 31, 2017 at 11:27 am //

    Great story and a great game by Carter. When Carter first started playing with Montreal he looked like he was going to be a superstar but then through immaturity it looked like he was throwing that all away. This game showed what is possible if Carter learns and matures. I look at Messam who had some similar issues early in his career but has matured into a great person as well as great player. If Carter takes the same path we will probably see many more games like this one

  16. Hors E Power // July 31, 2017 at 12:39 pm //

    No one ever questioned Carter’s abilities. Against the lions he will be focused on and have a frustrating day. We will see how classy and gracious he is then

  17. mrincomprehensible // July 31, 2017 at 1:41 pm //

    Can’t be any less classy or ingracious than you Horsey. Out of 100 posts you might post a decent one.

  18. Great story and that’s even more terrific as it was not just a TD but a very special one where he might want to trade that ball for another one – but he didn’t.

    This was a Kevin Glenn on him when he was signed and reported on by MURRAY MCCORMICK, REGINA LEADER-POST:

    “The guy isn’t a bad person, trust me…. I wouldn’t vouch for him if he was. I could leave it to whatever you guys (in the media) said about him and then say I don’t want to comment on it. You can tell he’s not a bad person because of how he acts off the field.’’

    “There are some things have happened in his career that he would want to take back,’’ Glenn said. “We’re all human and we all make mistakes.’’

    “If you were on the field with him, you wouldn’t like him,’’ Glenn said. “Off the field he’s awesome and a really good teammate.”

    • Hors E Power // July 31, 2017 at 3:52 pm //

      Oh well. I guess we were all wrong on Duron Carter. I’ll write the Vatican later today. Subject: Fast Track Duron Carter to saint hood.

      July 29th is day 1 of his philanthropic ways in Saskatchewan
      It’s so clear now. How could I have been so blind!

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