Evan Levy's Story
Evan was born in July of 2011 in Englewood, New Jersey. With golden brown hair and a smile that lit up a room, Evan was a playful, adventurous and fearless toddler. He had a dynamic and confident personality that endeared both children and grown-ups, ages two to ninety.
Evan loved playing with cars and trucks, jumping in bouncy castles, riding his tricycle and scooter, eating soursticks and cheeze-its, taking blue colored bubble baths, snuggling with his "baby" blankets and passie and exploring the people, places and things around him. He had a smile for everyone, adored making new friends – adults and children, he didn’t discriminate - and gave his Mommy, Daddy, Max and Zoey the best hugs and kisses.
Showing no previous symptoms, in May of 2014, Evan had a terrible seizure. He was rushed by ambulance to the emergency room where tests later revealed that Evan had a serious and rare brain tumor.
Over the course of Evan's illness, he endured eight different surgeries (five of them were open brain surgery), countless hospital stays, dozens of rounds of chemo, constant needles and daily doses of medicine. Evan was jointly treated through the tremendous efforts of the doctors and nurses at Hackensack University Medical Center, NY Presbyterian Weill Cornell Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital. Evan had the best team of doctors and they loved Evan, not just as their patient, but as their “smiling” friend; he had a place in each of their hearts. Before his surgeries, he would relay stories to the surgeons and nurses, engaging them in laughter, and they would draw silly pictures on his arms and legs just to hear his infectious giggle.
Despite all the suffering, Evan never complained. He never thought he was sick. Evan persevered with remarkable strength and fought hurdle after hurdle to get back on his feet as soon as possible. Oftentimes, he would be in the hospital and the following day he would insist on attending camp or school, playing with his friends like any other child. He would walk the halls and give everyone a high five; children he never knew before would cheer Evan's name.
Evan made the ordinary extraordinary. He made driving carpool an adventure and going grocery shopping a scavenger hunt. He knew the local policemen and firemen and made friends with the garbage men, the fishermen, the cable repairman, the exterminator and the ice cream truck driver. Evan knew the name of every nurse, physician assistant and hospital employee he encountered; to them, Evan was a friend. Evan made every individual feel special, welcomed them into his world and made them all smile.
After his last surgery in October, when the doctors no longer thought he had a fighting chance to survive the night, Evan once again defied the odds by waking up from surgery and lighting up the room with his personality. Evan did not let anything hold him back. He taught us all to appreciate life and show our love to those we care about. Evan smiled through his toughest day.
Our mission is to carry on Evan’s smile and perpetuate his legacy by spreading good in the world and by raising funds to help families in need of assistance during difficult times and raise funds for pediatric cancer research.