By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, posted 4/3/08
There could be no better way to honor the memory of Evan Brady.
Saturday at Malvern Prep, 25 youth boys’ lacrosse teams from the Delaware Valley will participate in the second running of Evanfest, a festival to raise money for families with children that have life-threatening diseases.
Evan Brady, of Newtown Square, was a young lacrosse player with great potential who died 3 years ago at the age of 19 due to osteogenic sarcoma, a childhood bone cancer.
To honor Evan’s fight, spirit and love of lacrosse, the Malvern community helped his father, Bill Brady, create Evanfest.
“It was brought to me by Malvern Prep coach John McEvoy and a few of the families very involved in Malvern lacrosse and close to Evan,” said Brady, the event chairman. “They wanted to do something for Evan in his memory.
“The best thing to do with the money is to give it to families with a child with a life-threatening illness. We know all too well the mental and emotional strain, but it’s also a huge financial drain.”
Last year the event, featuring Under-13 and Under-15 teams, helped raise $46,000 with funds going to 14 families. This year’s event has grown significantly, and Brady – who said six families have already been provided assistance – is looking to raise $80,000.
The money is coming from private and corporate donations, as well as fees from the teams participating.
Evan’s story is one of courage and determination. He was diagnosed with bone cancer on September 11, 2001, and was told to forget lacrosse. He missed most of his freshman year at Malvern Prep while enduring chemotherapy and an operation to remove his femur.
But Evan wanted to stay involved with lacrosse and served as a student-coach as a sophomore and junior, crutches and all. His cancer, however, spread to his spine and lungs in his senior year.
Evan, though, remained optimistic and graduated from Malvern Prep while earning a scholarship to St. Joseph’s University based on an essay describing his experiences dealing with cancer.
But soon after graduation, Evan had his leg amputated and he died on Sept. 21, 2005. His spirit, however, continues.
“We call it a festival,” Brady said, noting the rain date is next week. “We stress having fun. It’s not about winning.”
This is one time when everybody wins.
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