On Sept. 4 last year, a little boy from Richmond Hill got some really great news. The four rounds of chemotherapy he had undergone to treat the acute myeloid leukemia he’d been diagnosed with just five months prior worked. The cancer was gone.
That little boy is Evan Nelms, a kindergartner at Richmond Hill Primary School, and it appeared he had beaten cancer.
But last month Evan and his family got the sad news that the cancer had returned. The leukemia cells in his body had spread quickly and it had even moved into one of his eyes, affecting his vision. Since then, Evan has been in Pennsylvania at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he’s been undergoing more chemotherapy, as well as radiation, while he awaits a bone marrow match for transplant.
At only 5 years old, Evan has proven once already that he is a fighter — a survivor — and we have faith that he will prove the same again. But the road to recovery is paved with medical bills and countless other expenses that add up much too quickly. However, this is where the community comes in:
As it has done for Evan before, as well as others who have fallen on hard times, the community of Richmond Hill and Bryan County has stepped up to the plate to show support for one of its own. Just Monday, students and teachers in Richmond Hill schools donned orange shirts to show their support for Evan. Businesses around town have donated proceeds from sales, including Awakening Yoga Studio, which has held “donation classes” specifically to benefit Evan. Orange ribbons, which are starting to show up on mailboxes in many Richmond Hill neighborhoods, are on sale for $10 and support Evan’s medical expenses. A fundraiser festival is set for Feb. 23 in J.F. Gregory Park, a Boston butt sale is planned for March 22-23 and even more events are being planned.
His road to recovering and being cancer free may not be short or easy, but hopefully Evan and his family can take some comfort in knowing their friends, neighbors and even people they may not know in Richmond Hill are backing them and cheering Evan on.
To purchase an orange ribbon, call 912-308-3774. To order a Boston butt, or for more information about helping with the sale, call 912-596-1858.