Everett was born in June 2017. Just after he reached four months of age, his mother noticed he was starting to get a black eye. After watching it for a few days, she noticed his eye wasn’t straight anymore. An appointment with an ophthalmologist resulted in a referral for a MRI. Unfortunately, Everett was taken to a local ER on Thanksgiving day 2017 due to changes in his behavior. A CT was performed while he was awake, and that was the day we first heard the words “I’m sorry. Your baby has cancer”.
After traveling to Doernbecher the next day, further testing revealed a diagnosis of stage 4 high risk neuroblastoma. He had multiple large tumors throughout his body, along with bone disease and marrow involvement. His treatment protocol consisted of 6 months of high dose chemotherapy, a major surgery to remove as much tumor as they could, two bone marrow transplants, radiation, and 6 months of immunotherapy. The halls and staff at Doernbecher were like a second home and family to Everett, since he spent so much time inpatient to recieve treatment.
After 19 months of harsh treatment (June 2019), Everett had end of treatment scans done. A new mass was noted, and not too much later it was confirmed to be neuroblastoma relapse. We were heartbroken, and unsure how the next steps would go, as the family had just found out a new baby would be joining their family in February 2020. We decided to transfer to Seattle Children’s for relapse treatment.
After two months of treatment, he was again declared to be in remission. Unfortunately, scans in early December 2019 showed a second relapse. An experimental treatment was begun. Everett continued to act like his typical self until early February 2020. Scans were completed as scheduled for the experimental treatment, and it was discovered that the cancer had aggressively spread through his entire body. Curative treatments were no longer an option-the only option we had was to help keep him as comfortable as possible. To say we were devastated is the understatement of the century.
Everett’s baby brother was born on February 17, and traveled to meet Everett in the hospital when he was just two days old. Every moment he was awake, he asked to have his baby lay by him. He soaked up those moments, patting his baby’s head, rubbing his arms, and having him hold his finger. Everett left this life on February 23, 2020. His baby was named Samuel Everett in his honor.
Throughout his entire life, he was almost always a strong willed, joyful, and energetic little boy. He idolized his big brother Wesley, adored babies (and was always super gentle with them), loved cars, and trucks, and going for four wheeler rides. Everett lived his life to the fullest, loved without reservation, and persevered when many others would have given up. His vibrant life was an inspiration to all who had the privilege of knowing him, and his legacy will not be soon forgotten. Through his amazing example, we have found hope, inspiration, and important lessons in our lives, even when our path has seemed impossible to walk. We love and miss having him here in our lives