Christmas in October for a Dying Boy

This is one of the most amazing and humanitarian stories I have ever heard.

It happened in 2015, but it will remain with me until the day I die.  This is the story about an entire town of 3,000 people (and many other well-wishers from all around the globe who heard of the story) that rallied together to give a dying boy a last Christmas he would never forget.

In a village a few hours away from where I live in Ontario, Canada, there lived a little boy, 7 year old Evan, with an inoperable brain tumour.  He had been battling brain cancer since he was 2, and in his short life had already undergone more than 50 treatments.

It was that summer when the boy’s mother got the news from their doctor that the boy would not survive until Christmas.  There was nothing more medical science could do for him.

Christmas was Evan’s most favourite time of the year, and his mother was beyond devastated to learn that he would not live to see another one.

Well, the people of that little town caught wind of what was going on (thanks to a Facebook post that one kind soul posted), and they set out to create Christmas for the little boy before he passed away.

In just 7 days, they turned that little town into a Christmas Wonderland.  Fifty volunteers came out one night to decorate Main Street with fresh greenery and lights. People brought out cookies and hot apple cider. Townspeople decorated their homes, and when they ran out of lights, they went out and bought some more.

An estimated 7,000 people, almost all of them strangers, crowded a half-dozen blocks to watch a parade in Evan’s honour, complete with 25 floats, a fleet of police and fire vehicles, a pipe band, ponies and Clydesdale horses, and children throwing bucketfuls of candy.

It was October, but everyone in the town had their Christmas lights on their houses and their big ornaments on their front lawns.  Snow machines usually used to bring winter to movies blew for hours, blanketing part of Evan’s street in a gentle snowfall.  It honestly looked like a winter wonderland in October.  I’ve seen the pictures and videos.  I have no words!!

It was the most amazing Santa Clause parade.  The organizers of the event got 240 requests from people wanting to put a float in the parade.  It broke their hearts to have to say NO to so many fantastic, giving people.  I read that even the Macy’s parade, which is the largest parade in the world, has only 200 floats.  Wow!!

And Evan even got to ride with Santa on his sleigh.
Evan had an amazing day.
Sadly, he passed away a short time later, before Christmas of that year.  But I know the town will never forget him or Evan’s Christmas in October.

 

Kathleen Bolton

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