Carter steps up after cancer claims sister

JIM BENDER -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

After dealing with a family tragedy, Eric Carter is hoping the Blue Bombers will give him one more season.

After all, the classy cornerback suddenly has four more mouths to feed. Carter's older sister, Marion (40), died from breast cancer two weeks ago and he is in the process of adopting the four children she left behind -- three boys aged 13, 9 and 4 and one girl, 5. Carter already has four of his own -- two sons aged 16 and 10 months and two daughters -- aged 12 and 5 -- back at his home near Atlanta, Ga.

"So, it's going to be a nice household," Carter said yesterday. "I have two other sisters as well so, we're all going to get together and do the best thing. But I was in the best situation (financially). My mom and (everyone) are all going to get together and get it all worked out."

Although the children's father is still in the picture, Carter said he was in a better situation to raise the kids and is working it out with him.

Carter, 35, discovered that his sister had died just before Winnipeg played its last game versus Hamilton and he returned home right after the match.

"She'd been sick for a while but it was rough, man," said Carter, who comes from a very close-knit family. "And playing that game Friday night was rough for me, too.

"It was a tragedy for me but it was ongoing for a while. It's been bothering me for a while because it's been on my shoulders. But now, I feel a lot better now because she's gone and is in a better place ... It was kind of a hard thing to swallow. But I just kept praying about it and let the Lord deal with it. It's something you can't control so, we just left it in the Lord's hands."

The club already gave Carter some financial support when he first left.

"The players, coaches and organization are taking up a collection now to help him with the associated cost," said fullback Wade Miller. "On Tuesday, fans will be officially asked to donate as well to that."

"They know it's a bad situation and I thank them for that," Carter said.

Although club GM Brendan Taman said Carter has played well, his future with the team will be decided at the end of the season, the same as the rest.

Carter has been close to the kids who will soon call him father.

"My nephews all like sports and stuff so we all play together," he said. "They all have my jerseys and T-shirts that I had made up, and I give my trophies and footballs and my cards to them. When I go home, I speak at their schools and I play with those kids at their school. I get along with them good. So, that's going to be a good thing."

His sister, it seems, was counting on Carter.

"She always thought that I did a good thing whenever the family needed something," he said. "I was the only brother and she's the one who made me tough like I am today because she's the one who always beat me up when I was a kid. And my mom always told her to leave me alone. She said, 'I don't want him to be no puff.' She was a good role model."


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