Christmas is coming early for the people of St. George, Ontario.
It isn’t unusual to see the town decorated in October, the only difference this year is it’s for Christmas, not Halloween.
The small town north of Brantford has come together to give seven-year-old Evan Leversage, who has an inoperable brain tumor, one last Christmas.
The seven-year-old has battled cancer since he was diagnosed before his second birthday. His family learned in February that the tumor had grown and spread and there was no guarantee of what his health would be like in December.
After Evan’s mother Nicole Wellwood asked her family to celebrate Christmas early, the plan quickly snowballed into a community wide project.
The St. George community has responded.
The town is decked out in lights and decorations and plans to hold a Christmas parade with 25 floats on Saturday. Aside from Santa himself, the parade will feature dancers, cadets and horses. 3,600 people have said they will attend. The parade will even go in front of the family house.
Hundreds of houses are decorated for Christmas. It isn’t uncommon to walk throughout the streets of the town to see shops with signs that read “Merry Christmas Evan.”
Last January, Evan lost mobility in his right arm and leg. Since the initial diagnosis days before his second birthday he has endured 70 rounds of chemotherapy. Another 30 rounds of chemotherapy were completed in April.
“Through everything, he has been through a lot of aggressive treatment,” Wellwood told CBC. “He’s been phenomenal through it all. He wants to make everyone happy. In my eyes, he’s a hero. He never complained of any pain. He persevered through his whole thing.”
A GoFundMe page has also been set up asking for donations to help Nicole Wellwood, a single parent of three, with future costs. “Nikki is in survival mode and is working hard to make the most of the present and immediate future with Evan and his brothers,” Shelly wrote. “It’s hard for her to think about the future.”
In less than a week, the fundraiser has exceeded its goal of $1,500 and now has over $17,000 in donations.
All those who attend Saturday’s parade are asked to wear a gold ribbon to raise awareness of Childhood Cancer.