Christmas in October for terminally ill boy celebrated by Ontario town
Ontario town brings out decorations early for seven-year-old Evan Leversage, who is battling cancer
In St. George, Ont., the lights are up, the main street is full of decorations, carolers are even making their way door-to-door. It looks like Christmas, even though it's October.
But this isn't a case of the local stores getting a jump on holiday shopping. The town, 35 kilometres west of Hamilton, has turned the clock forward for Evan Leversage, a seven-year-old boy who has been battling brain cancer for five years.
His family recently learned that Evan's tumour has grown and spread, prompting doctors to suggest the family celebrate Christmas early this year.
His mother, Nicole Wellwood, asked her family if they wouldn't mind celebrating Christmas in October.
So people in St. George brought their lights out early and got to work. Before long, the entire town heard Evan's story and began decorating for the holiday.
Hundreds of houses in St. George are fully decked out with Christmas decor and a huge parade is planned to go right past Evan's house on Saturday.
"You look out our front window, the entire street is lit up," said Wellwood. "Everywhere you look it's Christmas. It's more than I could have imagined.
"When Evan looks out his window, the backyard is decorated and there's a sign saying 'Merry Christmas.'"
Neighbours on both sides have decorations up, and more than 25 floats have committed to join the Christmas parade.
"It's pretty crazy. A lot of people have really went above and beyond," said Wellwood.
Evan was diagnosed with cancer a couple of days before he turned two. He completed 70 weeks of chemotherapy and seemed to be thriving.
However, in January, he began losing mobility in his arm and leg. An MRI revealed a tumour.
Another 30 rounds of chemotherapy were completed in April.
But in July, an MRI showed the tumour had grown and branched out to other areas of the brain. Doctors say there's no other treatment.
'In my eyes he's a hero'
"Through everything, he has been through a lot of aggressive treatment," said Wellwood. "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."
In an interview Wednesday on CBC Radio's Metro Morning, Wellwood said Evan loves the town's Christmas decorations. She recently took him for a ride through town.
"His question is 'Why?' My answer is: 'Because you have a whole town that loves you.'"