The THON community suffered a loss late Tuesday night with the passing of Four Diamond’s child Evan Kreider. The Kreider family was paired with Nittany Nation earlier this year, and the Kreiders could often be seen sitting courtside with their org cheering on the basketball team.
The five-year-old from Palmyra, Pa. suffered from a terminal cancer that typically claims lives 9-18 months after diagnosis. Evan had been living with the disease for about 25 months before his passing. I know first hand that the Kreider family is an amazing example of a family who loves THON just as much as THON loves them.
“Being paired with the Kreiders really allowed us to experience what THON was all about, all wrapped up in a five year old little boy,” said Christina Kehoe, Nittany Nation’s THON Chair.
Nittany Nation’s former President, Maddy Pryor, said it best; “Evan will always be remembered for his continual smile and laughter. His courageous battle was longer lived than most with his diagnosis due to not only his amazing strength, but also that of his older brother and parents. Nittany Nation was absolutely blessed to have known this crazy little ball of sunshine, and we will continue to support the Kreider family forever.”
“He was, and always will be my hero. I never thought I would find such strength in someone so young, but he fought so hard every single day,” Pryor said.
Evan, like many of our little heroes, displayed the paradox of a kid who was not so kid like — the sign of a child who has had to grow-up far too early after facing cancer head on. (Even though he still ate ranch with his spaghetti, Pryor mentioned.)
“He made an incredible impact on my life and I will never stop fighting for him.” Pryor said.
Nittany Nation will be sponsoring a card drive for the Kreider family this week, and you can find more information about that on their Facebook event page. Today serves as a reminder that although THON is not in its fundraising season, cancer does not take a day off.