Evelyn Roy’s mom Heather said her daughter pinned her name to the bottom of a tree on the Alberta Children’s Hospital fundraising wall, because it was the strongest part.
It built people up, she said.
On Aug. 6, parents Heather and Mike Roy will be celebrating the birthday and memory of their daughter Evelyn Faye Roy, who died on Feb. 26 from neuroblastoma. It’s a form of cancer that produces immature nerve cells in different parts of the body.
As Evelyn’s 12th birthday approached, her mom said loved ones were trying to figure out a way to celebrate her. So, they planned a driveway dance party in her honour.
All funds raised will go towards the Childhood Cancer Research Program at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
Honouring Evelyn during COVID-19 – #EvsEpicBirthdayBash
With COVID, it’s challenging to get people together, said Evelyn’s mom, Heather.
Evelyn loved music. On the tough days during treatment, she would belt out Justin Timberlake songs and make videos with her friends.
“Evelyn really loved to dance and loved music and it was often a part of our life in the hospital. She used music to infuse joy into her days, especially during treatments,” said Heather.
So, they decided people can come to have a dance break, donate to the hospital, and continue with their day. They’ve even created a hashtag: #EvsEpicBirthdayBash. People can also follow along at Heather’s Instagram page.
From 12 to 8 p.m. at 907 Woodview Crescent SW., there will be musical performances on the driveway. Roy said they’ll have virtual chats with local celebrities and other families via Instagram live, for those who are unable to attend the celebration.
Heather said by having the party on the driveway, there’s physical separation for people. Volunteers will be wearing masks and face shields, and there will be hand sanitization stations set up for everyone’s safety.
“We felt like this was a safe way for people to be here and be a part of the day and be a part of Evelyn,” said Heather.
‘But our gift to her is that her name will go on top of that wall.’
Evelyn had spent more than 200 nights in the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
Roy said whenever Evelyn walked by the donor wall in the hospital she would tell her mother “mom, one day we’re going to raise so much money to help kids at the hospital, that my name is going to be on there.”
Evelyn had a wish to have her name on the fundraiser wall in the hospital. As a birthday gift to her, Team Evelyn, a group of supporters inspired by the 12-year-old, set a goal to raise $50,000 and get her name on the fundraiser wall.
“We can’t buy her gifts this year. But our gift to her is that her name will go on top of that wall,” Heather said.
Heather said that it’s a celebration of the day their lives changed, even though she won’t be here physically. Evelyn was their first born child.
“Being able to celebrate her birthday means we get to continue to celebrate all the amazing and wonderful things she was here on earth,” she said.
Evelyn’s lesson left to the family
Evelyn’s sister, Harper, and her friends opened a lemonade stand called, Life Gave Us Lemons, where all proceeds will be donated to the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
Evelyn’s mother said whenever they would donate at the hospital they would get a sticker where you can write your name and stick it on the tree on the fundraiser wall.
Evelyn would always put her name at the bottom of the tree. She said it’s the strong part of the tree that’s building other people up, Heather said.
“As we built her foundation, and her family and her legacy, we’re always really cognizant and aware of her belief that we are the roots,” Heather said.
“Our job is to be strong and to take care of people. A very simple, yet important lesson Evelyn has left us.”
Donations can be made at the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation fundraising page for the driveway dance party.