May 7, 2020
ST. GEORGE — It’s been more than four years since Christmas came early for Evan Leversage, a seven-year-old boy in St. George who had an inoperable brain tumour.
When his family was told he wouldn’t live until Christmas, his hometown of St. George decided to celebrate early, on Oct. 24 2015 with a Santa Claus parade and Christmas decorations.
His story and the community that rallied behind him are continuing to inspire, now reaching new generations in the form of a children’s book.
Evan’s mother and an author from Guelph are writing the story that is scheduled to be released in the fall.
“It’s a Christmas book in many ways,” author Eric Walters told CTV News in a video chat. “I think so many kids can relate to the biggest most exciting events in their lives and how much it meant to Evan as well.”
In a video conversation Evan’s mother, Nicole Wellwood told, CTV News the topic can be tough to talk about but is still important.
“This book actually shows that death can be done in peace and it had a happy ending,” she says. “It wasn’t a horrible ending and there truly was a happy ending in all of this despite Evan not being here with us.”
The authors say they are hoping the story can begin a difficult conversation between parents and their child.
“We as a society tend to sanitize death and separate children from grief in efforts to protect them. But we’re not protecting them, and right now the realities of the world have entered into everybody’s house,” Walters says, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Evan’s story has also inspired a movie made in India and annual toy drives in his hometown.