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Elf Hermey

Utah Town Brings Halloween and Christmas to Sick Little Boy

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Elf Hermey

In a close-knit Utah town where time has become a precious commodity for one family, the Christmas lights are already up and Halloween is in full swing 10 days early.

The town of West Jordan has come together to ensure that a 4-year-old boy with only a short time to live gets to make the most of it. Ethan Van Leuven has been battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia for more than half of his life, and doctors have declared that his illness is no longer treatable.

“So the doctors basically said, he’s got two days to a couple of weeks left to live, and so that’s when we thought we would make the most of the last days he has remaining with us,” Ethan’s father, Merrill Van Leuven, told Joe Fryer on TODAY Friday.

On Tuesday night, the community of West Jordan celebrated Halloween 10 days early as Ethan put on his Superman costume and went trick-or-treating. Two days later, the town held a parade in honor of Ethan’s fifth birthday, one month before the actual day.

“Ethan’s having a blast,” his mother, Jennifer Van Leuven, told Fryer. “It’s so much fun to watch his face light up.”

The week of holidays will continue on Friday when the community celebrates Christmas Eve, with everyone on the block putting up Christmas decorations. A local radio station is even switching their format to Christmas music for the day.

“We know that it is a real tough time for them,” one neighbor told Fryer. “We want to be there for them.”

The family and community are aiming to make every moment special for Ethan in his final days. On Saturday, they will celebrate Christmas, Ethan’s favorite holiday.

“It’s a really difficult time, but this just makes it a little bit easier just to see how many people love and support,” Jennifer said.



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Santa Roberts

I live not far from there. One of the local radio stations played nothing but Christmas music for this little boy last night. I volunteered to go down and be their Santa, but they already had someone else. What a wonderful outpouring of love from the community for this little boy. 

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Santa Marty

What a great community!

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KKringle

I saw story on the national news this morning. Brought tears to my eyes. Prayers go out to that little angel and his family.

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Santa Leonard

It is wonderful to hear of people working together to make this boy's life special.  What a blessing to the boy and his family.  Prayers uplifted for all.

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Santa Alan

I also heard this story on the news on Network TV.  God bless this little boy and his family as they apparently celebrate the Christmas season together for the last time - at least on Earth.  It certainly helps us all to put the Christmas Spirit and the message of the Birth of our Savior in an appropriate perspective as we approach this blessed nativity season.  As Tiny Tim would say:  "God bless us - every one!"

 Santa Alan   :santa101: 

:merry: 

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Santa Bendron

Can't imagine going through this in the family's shoes. So good to see a community coming together like this. It gives you such hope for the future at a time when there is so much gloom. May Heaven give this family the strength to withstand this trial, and to keep in mind that they can be together again.

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Santa Bruce Geron

I saw this story on the news. Beautiful, just beautiful how the community comes together to aid this family.

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Santa Johnathan

This is such an incredible gift this community has given this boy. My prayers go out for this family.

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Elf Without Jingles

Merrill, Jennifer --- I want you both to listen to me.

 

Ethan was indeed a very special child, and God blessed you both wholeheartedly. It's not fair that so precious a child as this should be taken from you in this way. It breaks my heart knowing that you will never see him outlive you, never be there to watch him make his own decisions, as a child, and eventually as an adult. To discover that that whole town would do something so special for one very important little boy reminds us as to what Christmas really means. Put simply, it is more than just the day that Santa Claus delivers presents. It exists, as it has for the last 2000 years or so, to remind the human race of just how much unconditional positive regard Mankind is truly capable of. Would that we could cease for just one precious moment and take the time to care for our fellow human beings. "You may say I'm a dreamer," John Lennon wrote in time of yore, "but I'm not the only one." None of us are the only ones. But I promise you, Ethan van Leuven will be remembered, not just by those of us here at ClausNET, but, I hope, by every girl and boy on Earth. I'm sure that Santa, in his role as King Nicholas of Forever, is making sure that this wonderful child will indeed join those who are of their own choice brave, truthful, and unselfish.......

 

Guys, I'm gonna cry, because this is probably one of the most beautiful stories that's ever been posted here. Anybody got a hankie? (Sniffle!)

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Ol Santa

Howdy Y'all...

        ...Ol' Santa here.   Now I gotta' tell you.   That town of West Jordan, Utah

knows what Christmas is all about!

        "Christmas is for Kids" and in this case...one very special kid.

        Can you imagine what those parents are going through?   I have to tell

all you folks.   If you can get involved with a Children's Charity you'll find it to

be the most rewarding thing you can do with your free time.

        Give it a try.   You'll be amazed at how young it makes you feel!

 

Ol' Santa

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Santa Roberts

I am sad to announce that Ethan passed away this morning. It was wonderful to see the outpouring of love the community gave him. 

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Elf Without Jingles

I am sad to announce that Ethan passed away this morning. It was wonderful to see the outpouring of love the community gave him. 

 

Rest in peace, little one. There will certainly be room for you amongst those lovable angels. May they come to love you in Heaven, in the same way that we here on Earth loved you.

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