Revere community supports local family, sells apparel

Carson’s family travels back and forth from Akron, Ohio, to St. Jude’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.

Libby Duncan, Continuity Editor

Members of the Revere community have begun selling T-shirts to support a local family’s renewed battle with childhood cancer.

Twelve-year-old Carson Higgins recently experienced a relapse of neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that most often affects infants and young children, in November of 2015. Carson receives treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where he and his mother currently reside. Friends of the Higgins family wanted to show their support through a T-shirt sale, as Georgia Lehman, a close friend, explained.

“John Higgins has a colleague that owns a print shop [who] wanted to do something in honor of Carson’s fight right now to help them, [and] he wanted to do a T-shirt, [so] that is where that came [from]. . . . Some of us in the Revere community saw them, [and] we talked about trying to do something with them. A ton of Revere people have offered to come to the Higgins’s help and do something to help support them in any way they can, so this was one of the ways we thought could be possible for helping [them],” Lehman said.

Lehman mentioned that Carson added his input on the design of the shirt. Carson’s father, John Higgins, described his son’s reasoning for the design.

“My mom made this amazing memory quilt from when he was three years old to battle cancer, and we always called it ‘a God story of faith, hope and love.’ Carson wanted that on the back, the cross, and the cancer ribbon,” Higgins said.

Higgins explained that the sale will also include a water bottle and wristband that include similar designs.

Members of the Higgins family expressed their gratitude towards the support they receive from the community, including Carson’s mother, Debbie.

“[The support] gives us a little extra boost, being so far away. It is great to see them back home wearing shirts that support Carson and his journey,” Debbie said.

John also shared his family’s hopes for what impact they anticipate the T-shirt sale will have on the Revere community.

“It is hard to watch any child battle cancer and suffer through the treatments and things that battling cancer entails. . . . Our hope [and goal of the sale] is that people will have greater awareness and greater support for all children that are battling cancer,” Higgins said.

The sale serves as a fund for travel and medical expenses as well. John and his other sons, Brendon, 23; Brett, 20; Garrett, 18; and Derek, 10, travel back and forth between Richfield and Memphis to visit with Debbie and Carson.

Higgins spoke of a website that he and his wife set up with the help of a friend, www.carsonstrong.org, and what people can find on it.

“The T-shirts are for sale [on the site], . . . there is a piece about his story and history, . . . [and soon] we will put up the water bottles and the bracelets as well,” Higgins said.

The website also has a link to a Facebook page, Carson Strong, where the Higgins family updates people on Carson’s battle with cancer. Carson also has a page on www.caringbridge.org. The Higgins family hopes that their story will have a positive impact on the community in the future and remain thankful for support and help that the Revere community has shown them.