Give these parents all the awards.
Parents have been known to go to great lengths to ensure the best life possible for their child, and that’s exactly what Mark and Evelyn Moore, parents of 13-month-old Evelyn, did.
When sweet little Evelyn was just four months old, a routine doctors appointment led to a bunch of tests and an eventual diagnosis of cancer—Stage 4 neuroblastoma, to be exact.
There were tumors on Evelyn’s spine and lungs and the infant eventually underwent eight rounds of chemotherapy. One of the tumors crushed her spine, leading her to become paralyzed from the arms down.
So while other babies her age were learning to scoot, crawl and walk, Everly and her family were fighting for her life. Doctors told the family that while she wouldn’t ever be able to walk, she would eventually be able to army crawl and use a wheelchair.
To help Evelyn start moving around, and to give her as "normal" a life as possible, her mom started looking around for a toddler-appropriate wheelchair. But because of Evelyn’s diminutive stature—she’s 18 pounds—it was especially difficult to find anything suitable. Then one day, Kimberly saw an innovative wheelchair on Pinterest that utilized a bumbo, bicycle tires and a cutting board.
She tells Today, “I brought it to my husband and said, ‘Can we do this too?’ And so we went to the parts store.” As an event planner and tire technician, the couple had no experience building things from scratch, but a parent's love can move mountains, so two days and $100 later, seven-month-old Evelyn had a custom-made working wheelchair that she could zoom around in.
And since Evelyn has gotten used to her new ride, she's hit the road—spirits blazing.
“She’s pretty fearless. She’ll go in her wheelchair on the top of a hill, let go and put her hands in the air, then catch herself when she gets to the bottom. She’s a good little baby. She’s been through a lot and she’s just trying to get back to what normal looks like," shares Kimberly.
Evelyn is such a daredevil that her parents had to install a little speed bump inside their house to slow her down.
The toddler's cancer has been in remission the past couple months, so now the family is looking to relearn what their new normal is. Kimberly admits that spending eight months in the hospital has led to depression and anxiety, but that she's looking forward to seeing what the other side is like, and who Evelyn will become.
“Her true person comes out when she’s in that chair. She [now] has the same interactions as other children wouldl, being at eye-level add exploring the world on the ground. That’s what she is able to do in moving around. It’s pretty exciting.”
Photographs by: Brad Moore