A terminally ill boy whose entire town rallied to give him an early Christmas before his death saw “nothing but beauty and kindness and compassion” during the last months of his life, his mother says.
Evan Leversage died in his mother’s arms Sunday morning after a struggle with cancer that lasted nearly his entire life.
Diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor before age two, Evan endured 100 rounds of chemotherapy before doctors said in September that no more treatment options were available.
Family plans for an early Christmas eventually snowballed to include the entire town of St. George, culminating in a town-wide celebration and parade on Oct. 24.
READ MORE: Ontario town creates ‘one last Christmas’ for terminally ill boy
His mother Nicole Wellwood posted frequent Facebook updates on Evan’s condition, and wrote Saturday that Evan’s condition was dire.
He died the next morning at Stedman Community Hospice in Brantford, Ont.
“I am so thankful that Evan was able to pass away in my arms,” His mother Nicole Wellwood said a statement. “He was so peaceful and content. I was holding him as he took one last deep breath and I knew at that very moment, that this would be his last.”
“I couldn’t believe my eyes but he died with the most beautiful smile on his face. It was as if he knew his mommy needed to see that to know that he was ok and now in a better place. Evan will always be with me in my heart.”
Just two weeks after the Christmas celebration, Evan was moved to Stedman Hospice, but not before completing his “bucket list,” Wellwood said. His last few outings included a Maple Leafs game, a meal at Chuck E. Cheese and a viewing of Hotel Transylvania 2.
On Monday, Wellwood expressed her gratitude to everyone who shared their love and support with her son.
“It truly was a miracle, Evan was very blessed,” she said. “His last few months on this earth were amazing, he’d see nothing but beauty and kindness and compassion and he’s seen people at their finest.”
Evan’s story made international headlines and attracted support from across the globe. The St. George post office says Evan received 10 times more mail than Santa Claus, and Wellwood said the letters “gave him strength.”
Evan’s family has partnered with The Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada to receive donations that will go toward research for childhood brain tumours.
“I want [Evan’s] legacy to make an impact so that we can even spare another family or families this pain,” Wellwood said.
“It is an unbearable pain and there is a piece of me that left with Evan yesterday … Your life changes instantly the minute you lose them to this horrible disease. You never will be the same without them.”
She hopes people will remember Evan at Christmas and take inspiration from his own journey.
“Light a candle this Christmas … and remember that little boy that lit up the world,” she said. “When dealing with your children, keep patient and remember that every time you have with your child is a blessing and it doesn’t matter what life throws at you but cherish what you’ve got and never let it pass by.”
With files from Lama Nicolas.