Gone too soon, fighter Evan Vickers leaves legacy of love

Published 8:48 am Wednesday, December 14, 2022

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The Southwest Georgia community is mourning the sudden loss of seven-year-old Evan Knox Vickers of Leary, Ga., following a tragic ATV accident last Friday night. Evan, a first-grade student at Pataula Charter Academy in Edison, Ga., was known far and wide following a rare stage IV neuroblastoma diagnosis. Many came to know and love Evan as they learned more about his story from social media.

Evan’s parents, Kraig and Brittany Vickers of Leary, Ga., were deeply devoted parents and supported Evan through his significant health challenges from birth. According to The Rally Foundation, Evan was diagnosed in utero with several heart defects; Evan had open heart surgery when he was less than one week old to repair his failing heart. Evan struggled through many months of chemotherapy, two bone marrow transplants, 20 rounds of radiation, and six cycles of immunotherapy before the age of 4, earning him the regionally followed hashtag #FIGHTLIKEEVAN. Many witnessed firsthand his unparalleled bravery and courage and his indomitable spirit.

On Tuesday, students from the charter academy in Edison and its sister school, Spring Creek Charter Academy in Bainbridge, wore Evan’s favorite color, green, to honor their friend.

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Despite his age, Evan set a powerful example for others who may have been facing tough life challenges. “Despite all things, Evan laughed, played, and smiled every day,” his mother told Fox news in 2017. Many who knew Evan shared similar sentiments about his kindness and positive attitude in the face of extraordinary challenges at such a young age. “To know Evan was to love him!” said Amy Pittman, Evan’s first-grade teacher. “I am truly blessed the Lord chose him especially for my class, I am a better person for knowing him,” she added.

The family’s poignant words have comforted many in the community, “He was an old soul that was wise beyond his years. He made friends quickly, loved fiercely, and was a true inspiration to everyone he met. The legacy this little boy leaves behind is felt by everyone who knew him. Our “Fight Like Evan” family has become “Love Like Evan,” and it fits perfectly,” they shared.

Condolences and messages have been pouring in since Friday from many across the state, a testament to Evan’s ability to love all he met. In the face of such an incomprehensible tragedy, the family still hopes Evan’s legacy of courage and love will be a continuous source of inspiration in the years to come. “He gave the absolute best hugs and never missed an opportunity to say “I love you,” his family said, a powerful message from a brave and exceptional child whose loss will be deeply felt.