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Canadian Town Helps Terminally Ill Boy Celebrate Christmas Early

Evan Leversage, 7, was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer when he was 2 years old. In September, doctors told Evan that he might not live to see another Christmas. So, Evan's family decided to celebrate Christmas two months early.

They asked local residents if they would be open to contributing to the family's celebration--they did not expect the overwhelming response. Shelly Wellwood, a cousin of Evan's mother, said, “I wanted him to get a chance to experience Christmas. I made up a flyer just seeing if we could get some local support to put lights up and bring him Christmas.”

Local florist, Brandy King, then shared Shelly's idea on Facebook and the town's residents decided to create a town-wide Christmas parade in the boy's honor. The parade took place on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. It featured 25 floats and cars provided by the Ontario Provincial Police. They also had a Santa sleigh and a snow machine. Around 7,000 people, including many cancer survivors, attended the parade.

Evan then got gifts from all over the world, including a Batman hat from the family of Canadian singer Justin Bieber and a voice recording of SpongeBob Square Pants, which was accompanied by a personal visit from the popular cartoon character later that evening.

Brandy King, owner of the La Petit Fleur flower shop in St. George said Residents and business owners chipped in to decorate the town in preparation for the parade. "I organized a get-together downtown to decorate Main Street. All the local businesses got their windows decorated so it looks like Christmas on Main Street. It's been a whirlwind of a week. There's just so much love pouring out of St. George."

Evan's aunt, Ashley, said, "Nobody should have to prepare to say goodbye to a 7-year-old, and to know that there's that many strangers out there that are sending you positive thoughts and stuff is just, you know, mind-blowing."

The townspeople helped decorate Evan's home with Christmas lights, provided gifts for the family's tree, and helped with the fake snow on the lawn. Evan's older brother, Logan, added, "It's pretty awesome that people are doing this."

The family has started a GoFundMe page to help pay Evan's medical bills. To date, the site has raised more than $39,000. Evan's mother, Nicole Wellwood, is hoping for a Christmas miracle that will let Evan get two Christmases.

Photo: The Globe And Mail

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