Carts full of candies and toys wheel through the halls at Children’s National Health System, giving patients the chance to pick out whatever they want.
The Treats and Treasures cart started after Wendy and Gavin Lindberg lost their 7-year-old son from cancer in 2010.
Evan Lindberg was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that affects the nervous system and spreads throughout the entire body, according to the Lindberg’s EVAN Foundation page.
“We think of Evan every single day, and we try not to think about Evan in the context of neuroblastoma. Neuroblastoma did not define our son,” Gavin Lindberg said.
In his honor and memory, the Lindbergs established The EVAN Foundation, where they formed a weekly tradition passing out sweets and treats to sick children in D.C., Maryland and Philadelphia.
“When we walk in with the carts, we kind of feel Evan’s spirit with us, because that’s the kind of kid he was, and an extra benefit for us is we get to say his name over and over again,” Wendy Lindberg said.
The Lindbergs do more than just hand out goods. The foundation donates to research dedicated to curing the disease.
“The EVAN Foundation has given us a lot of resources to do the research that we’re doing, and it’s a very exciting time in the work that we’re doing. We’re really seeing significant breakthroughs,” said Dr. Tony Sandler, vice president and surgeon-in-chief at Children's National Medical Center.
For their work in cheering up kids with cancer, the Lindbergs are this week’s Harris’ Heroes.
“You could actually see the faces light up of the kids when the treat cart comes around, and I’ll add even the staff faces light up,” said Dr. Jeffrey Dome, chief of oncology.
Through The EVAN Foundation, the Lindbergs have also raised half a million dollars towards neuroblastoma research.
Cindy Choi contributed to this report.