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Just one month after Evan Leversage's town lit up in his honor, he passed away on Sunday after a five-year battle with brain cancer. Evan was 7 years old.
"I was holding him as he took one last deep breath, and I knew at that very moment that this would be his last," Nicole Wellwood, Evan's mom, posted on Facebook.
Nicole knew Evan's time was near. He had been sleeping for for a few days and was no longer able to eat or drink. As she looked at her son at peace, she was grateful that he had gotten to experience the beauty of the holiday season.
When they learned Evan wasn't going to make it to Christmas, his town of St. George, Ontario, came together to celebrate the holiday with him in October. Local businesses put up lights and a parade quickly came together on Oct. 24, drawing a crowd of about 7,500 people.
"As a family we thank you. Evan got to witness a miracle," Nicole wrote. "He witnessed a beautiful world... filled with love and compassion. He celebrated a Christmas like no other. He was able to complete his 'bucket list' and more."
Evan's favorite part of the early Christmas celebration was at its climax, when he got to sit up on Santa's float.
"I know you are playing free of cancer," Nicole wrote to her departed son. "I know you have gone somewhere beautiful. I seen it by the smile on your face. You were my miracle. You are my hero and will always remain my inspiration."