WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Carter Mandley appeared to be a healthy newborn baby. He was spunky and fun loving, much like his older brothers were when they were born.
Then one month after his birth, his mom noticed something on his belly.
"His stomach was protruding on the left side and I thought it was either a hernia or he was constipated," Lyndsey Mandley said.
Doctors determined it wasn't constipation or a hernia so Lyndsey and her husband, Chris, were told to take Carter in for an ultrasound.
"Went in for the ultrasound and that's the moment I knew it was cancer," the heartbroken mom said.
It was a rare cancer, and a bad one.
Little Carter was diagnosed with a metastatic extrarenal rhabdoid tumor, which is a cancer that starts in the kidney.
The prognosis was poor. Carter's mom discovered that on her own.
"Well, I did some research," Lyndsey said. "It said zero point zero chances of surviving and the doctor also advised this is not a good cancer."
Carter spent a lot of time in Chapel Hill during his short life. There are no pediatric oncologists in the Wilmington area.
The cancer took over his little body and just a few weeks past his first birthday, Carter died.
He's no longer here but his memory lives everywhere in the Mandley's home. There are portraits, molds of his hands, and his name prominently displayed on the living room wall.
Lyndsey is now on a mission to help other moms and families making the same difficult journey. She's started the Buttercup Foundation.
Last Friday, Lyndsey, her husband, and their two young sons traveled to Chapel Hill to donate toys and gift cards to families on the children's cancer floor.
"What I've learned through this process is that life is short," she said. "You have to make the best of it no matter the circumstances and make sure you are giving the best for your family."