A Healthy Christmas for Two-Year-Old Evelyn

Posted December 4th, 2015 by Be The Match and filed in News
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EvieTomlin Cropped in HatFor most children, the holiday season is filled with love, gifts and excitement for the New Year. However, for children like Evelyn, simply being present and able to celebrate a holiday is a precious gift. By her first birthday, little Evelyn had endured more painful medical procedures than most people experience in a lifetime. But to look at her now, you’d never know it—thanks to the unshakeable love of her family and the life-saving gift of strangers.

The bubbly two-year-old lives in Oregon with her devoted parents and five-year-old brother, Isaac.

Evelyn’s dark, expressive eyes and happy-go-lucky grin contradict the onslaught of illness she battled from the moment of her birth in April 2013.

Before Evelyn was a few months old, she was diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID)—commonly known as the “bubble boy” disease. SCID is a group of inherited disorders that severely compromise the immune system and leave its young victims vulnerable to recurring infections—or worse. “Evelyn had absolutely no immune system. They told us her chances were slim,” said her mom, Stephanie.

That’s when Evelyn’s doctors turned to the Be The Match Registry® and found an unrelated marrow donor willing to step up to help save her life. Unfortunately, Evelyn’s transplant was not successful. However, in spite of the first unsuccessful transplant, the tubes and pain, Evelyn never stopped smiling. “In every picture I took of her in the hospital, she’s smiling,” says Stephanie.

The family decided to proceed with a second transplant just two months after the first unsuccessful try. On the day Evelyn started her chemotherapy to prepare for her second transplant, Stephanie felt curiously hopeful. She and Isaac took a stroll outside and when Stephanie glanced down, she spotted a four-leaf clover. “I just had this feeling that everything was going to be okay,” she remembers.

Her intuition was right. Evelyn’s second transplant in late November was a success. “Today, she’s pretty much a normal two-year-old,” said Stephanie. “In fact, she has surpassed her age for speech and cognitive abilities, which is pretty incredible considering what she’s been though.”

Unlike previous years, this holiday season will be different for Evelyn and her family. With Evelyn’s immune system stronger than ever before, the family will be able to host 18 people for a beautiful Christmas celebration. For a strong, supportive family like Evelyn’s, this year will mean so much.

This holiday season, the family wishes others will get the same life-saving chance they received. “Everyone is hopeful around the holidays; there is a theme of joy and hope,” said Stephanie. “When you donate money or donate marrow you are pretty much giving the gift of hope for people. To give families like ours that hope and chance for life is so special and important, there really are no words for it.”

Join Be The Match and give the gift of hope to patients spending the holiday fighting for their lives. For children like Evelyn, your gift could make all the difference.

5 Responses to “A Healthy Christmas for Two-Year-Old Evelyn”

  1. ayesha says:

    Me gustaría ser donante de médula.y así. Ayudar pero no se como hacerlo. Por favor si me pueden enviar información. En español.

  2. Elaine says:

    I am so very happy for Evelyn and her family. I have been registered for probably 10 years plus and have not yet been contacted. However if feels really good knowing I am available at a moments notice. My heart goes out to Evelyn and her family.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family Evelyn what a wonderful gift.

  3. Alejandra says:

    Me da Mucho gusto Por Evelyn y su Familia,
    Yo tambien estoy registrada para poder colabarar con un milagro de vida. Tengo un Hijo de 14 anos con Fibrosis Quistica y mi familia y yo estamos luchando dia a dia Por mantenerlo con salud.

  4. Nancy says:

    Praise God for His goodness! Thankful for people caring about others to sign up to BE The Match.

  5. Dosmildoce says:

    Hi Nicole.I wrote you a few weeks ago about the Robin Long workshop. I am one of Kelli’s 2011 sinrpg alums. Wish I could attend Robin’s workshop but it now looks like I will be in LA that week. I am taking Kelley Ryden’s workshop in a few weeks though.These are fantastic shots. Mind sharing the lens you used and what actions you are working with? If it’s easier you can email me instead of posting. Also, as I think you know I am based out of Hartford. I am looking for a location down south to meet a friend from NY for a shoot. Mind sharing your some locations in the fairfield area that I may be able to meet them at? I understand if you would rather keep them under wraps.

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