Blog : Remembering Everett Thomas Cavan

By Sarah Mahoney | Mar 2, 2015 | in

The below words are from former GA Assistant Director Scott Szycher who during his two year tenure worked alongside former GA Director of Media Jim Cavan. Jim's darling baby Everett pass a week ago after a long battle with cancer. We continue to honor Jim and Everett and his wife Deana as the entire community mourns the loss of this wonderful baby boy.

I never got to know, or even meet Everett Thomas Cavan during his short lifetime. And it’s my loss, as this baby boy – and make no mistake about it, he was just a baby, his eyes full of wonder, amazement, and curiosity – showed the world what courage was all about during his heroic battle against rhabdoid cancer; a cancer so rare and aggressive that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men (in this case, the phenomenal medical staff at Boston Children’s Hospital) couldn’t overcome the long odds.

But I did have the pleasure of meeting his parents, Jim and Deana Cavan. In fact, during my tenure as the Green Alliance’s Assistant Director, I had the pleasure of working very closely with Jim, who served as the Director of Media. I’d quickly get to know him as a talented, versatile writer whose prose could somehow make seemingly mundane of subjects come to life, often on absurdly short deadlines. For my money, nobody who could write faster could write better, and nobody who could write better could faster.

He’d also light up when Deana paid a visit to the office. They seemed made for one another; so much so that the fact that they would later get married seemed to be a fait accompli.

Shortly after Jim left the Green Alliance, Deana gave birth to Everett. I could see from pictures and videos how much Jim and Deana adored him; the trio just seemed to love each day on Earth with a remarkable enthusiasm. The same passion that Jim had for writing and storytelling was seamless transferred to parenting this special child. With a burgeoning writing career, a wife who was a friend and soulmate, and an infant son, everything was in place for Jim. It all seemed so complete, so promising.

We’ll never know why children become ill, and sometimes die, leaving a trail of tears from heartbroken parents, family members, friends, and colleagues. Nor will we ever know why this inconceivably cruel fate had to happen to such wonderful parents as Jim and Deana, nor to a baby who brought joy to every life he touched. But we do know that Jim and Deana, suffering from an unimaginable grief that would shatter most parents, were towers of strength when Everett needed them most.

Long odds be damned against a wildly aggressive cancer, they and their son fought courageously, from chemotherapy to an almost unprecedented surgery, and back to more chemotherapy. Together they suffered, but never flinched. Even after receiving the direst diagnosis from their doctors, they ventured beyond the frigid borders of New England in search of a cure, all the while showing the world what hope, parenting, and true love for offspring are all about.

The story of Everett Cavan, and his parents’ determined efforts to save him, resonated far beyond our regional community. Financial help and emotional support poured in from around the globe; even people with no connection to the family were mesmerized by this effort. But for supporters of the Cavan family, our work isn’t done; to honor the memory of Everett Cavan, donations are being accepted to establish a fund to research these types of cancers, and support those battling the disease.

We can also lend support to Jim and Deana as they grieve the loss of their son. They know that if they need shoulders to cry on, and friends to grieve with, there’s an entire community waiting for them with open arms, full heats, and our own teary eyes.

No parents should have to go through what Jim and Deana Cavan have gone through. We can’t bring their son back, but we can make sure they don’t have bear this burden on their own.

Donations are being accepted here.