Boy Whose Ontario Town Celebrated Christmas Early for Him Has Died


The boy whose Ontario town banded together to give him an early Christmas celebration has died.

Evan Leversage, 7, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor a couple of days before he turned 2 and had been battling cancer ever since, relative Shelly Wellwood told ABC News in October.

When his cancer could no longer be managed at home, Evan was admitted to Stedman Community Hospice in Brantford, Canada, Nov. 4, where he lost his battle with cancer Sunday, the hospice said in a statement.

But before Evan died, community members, family members and hospice staff made sure his final wishes were granted.

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The whole town of St. George rallied around one of his dreams: a holiday celebration two months early, on Oct. 24, after the family was advised by doctors that Evan would possibly not make it to Christmas, Wellwood said.

What started out as family asking neighbors to put up Christmas lights early turned into a town-wide parade that gained worldwide attention, complete with floats adorned with Evan’s favorite fictional characters and the opportunity to ride Santa Claus’ sleigh, community member Brandy King told ABC News in October.

His father, Travis Leversage, said in the hospice statement the St. George parade was "the most magical night" of his life.

He added: “To see more than 7,000 strangers line the street for Evan and our family, their compassion really gave me a renewed hope that there is so much love in the world."

Among Evan’s highlights at the hospice were when he directed volunteer firefighters on how to put up a 12-foot Christmas tree, enjoyed a visit from Santa Claus and read mail that he received from around the world with his family, the hospice said, adding that the local post office received more letters for Evan than it did for Santa Claus.

“Evan was granted one last wish when staff made a pit stop at a McDonald’s Drive Thru to pick up a Chicken McNugget happy meal that he requested along the way,” the hospice said.