Evan Brown, 12, got his vaccine for his mother who is fighting cancer, but his story of sacrificing to keep his mother healthy began years ago.
WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Saying moms are heroes might just be the understatement of the year for 12-year-old Evan Brown, a Southport Elementary Student who pushed pandemic restrictions to the limit to keep his mom from getting sick.
Evan’s mother Melissa Brown, 41, suffers from a rare incurable blood cancer called Myeloma, which requires chemotherapy and puts her at serious risk of death if she falls ill with the coronavirus.
Life as the 6th grader knew it was nearing a halt last March, as the deadly coronavirus hit the United States and government leaders initiated unprecedented lockdown measures to protect public health.
More than 586,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus.
Evan has spent a lot of time at home in the past year. He took a break from baseball, refrained from seeing friends in person, and rarely went out. When he did, it was usually with his mom, dad, and 8-year-old brother. He even celebrated his 12th birthday wearing a mask in his driveway, family and friends physically stayed far away in their car.
“I had to do all these things to protect her and I was fine, I didn’t mind, but it was difficult,” said Evan Brown.
He’s fine with it, because his mother has been taking care of him all his life and now he can give something back, Evan said. He calls his mother a hero for everything she has done for him and everything she has endured with her illness.
“What went through my mind was like ‘Oh, shoot,’ this could take her away from me,” Evan said of the pandemic.
He had an unfortunate experience of being away from his mother for a long time.
In 2019, Melissa spent three months at Stanford Hospital to treat cancer. Evan says he never wants to be away from his mother for so long.
“He’s just a very good kid and I’m blessed to be his mom,” Melissa said, wiping her tears.
The family says they were able to go out and do things together, but were away from others for much of the past year, including close relatives such as their grandparents.
Every Saturday the family made an effort to go out. Evan’s mom, dad, and 8-year-old brother went for a picnic and took a trip to a place where not many people would gather so they would be safe.
Still, the mother of two says she knows how difficult it has been for her children and how proud she is of her son.
“He just did it and there was never a fight or a fight, ‘but I want to go, I could go.’ He just did it, ”said Melissa.
Evan’s mother was warned Friday that a vaccination appointment had been opened at the Kaiser Clinic at the California Exposition. The 12-year-old received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. He says he feels like he was just born yesterday.
“It feels really good,” he said.
Evan encourages everyone to have a chance too. He says getting your shot will help us all get back to normal things like being a kid.
Pfizer is the only vaccine that has received an emergency permit in the United States for children over 12 years old. No vaccines are currently approved for children under the age of 12, which means Evan’s brother Zack, 8, will have to wait a little longer. Pfizer recently announced its plans to apply for FDA approval in September.
“He has the greatest heart and knowing he just wanted to keep me safe just means a lot,” said Melissa.
Melissa is now fully vaccinated, but the family remains vigilant about coronavirus safety precautions until the entire family is vaccinated. They hope that they can then move more safely together.
Evan was allowed to resume baseball while following strict safety precautions. He can do that more easily now that he has been vaccinated. He is very excited that his West Sacramento Little League team, the Minnesota Twins, will be participating in the upcoming championship tournament.
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