A True B.A.R. Hero
October 27, 2014
Ethan, a name of Hebrew origin. The name translates to "solid" and "enduring". Ethan VanLeuven definitely lives up to his name. Ethan is a 4 year-old from West Jordan, Utah who is currently battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and this little fighter is giving it everything that he's got. He has been fighting his leukemia since he was 22 months old and just recently his doctors had named his leukemia untreatable. Ethan was given just a few days. Despite this estimated time friends and family from all over Utah had come to make Ethan's time more enjoyable.
Ethan's community had planned a week long event where they celebrated holidays from Halloween to Christmas, this also included his birthday. Not only did BAR come to his birthday party but so did Batman, Thor, Indiana Jones, Wonder Woman, and many others!
I sat down with the leader of BAR, Caleb also known as Nobleserf, and asked him for his first-hand account of the event.
"I showed up minutes before the parade started, there were knights from Emberfire (the Fantasy-con group) mascots from all over the valley, batman and the batmobile, Darth Vader and all sorts of people dressed up for Ethan's Birthday. The parade was led with lights from the West Jordan Police Department.
We walked about a block from the Church to Ethan's house, and With BAR just behind the banner carriers we laid down our gift for Ethan in front of him, gave him a salute, and stood off to the side.
After the parade, Ethan and his dad went around the whole group to say hi to everyone. Alex (Hades), quite choked up, told Ethan "You are my favorite super hero. I don't care about Batman or Darth Vader, I came to see you, you are my favorite"
It was quite emotional for the entire team, those on the team with children definitely took it harder than most. We were all a little teary eyed. I felt sad, but also felt the excitement that Ethan was feeling. The excitement of seeing the entire neighborhood change their holiday plans to put up christmas lights early, trick or treat early and get groups from all over the valley involved. I felt honored to be a part of the event and represent not only BAR but also Jimmy Johns who both wanted to be a part of making a dying kid smile.
I think it is really neat how many of our leaders and members dropped their evening plans, had their families come with less than a 24 hr notice to be there for Ethan. It made it clear to me that we have grown the team right. Airsoft isn't about combat or fighting or guns or looking bad ass. It has those elements to it sure! But Airsoft is about showing the community Respect, Integrity and Safety. To see the team come out and show our RIS for Ethan was surreal and excites me for what more we can do and what we will do for our community."
Nobleserf was able to talk to the franchise owner of Jimmy John's and provide a few platters of sandwiches for the event. A very charitable contribution on behalf of Jimmy John's! But that's not all that BAR contributed with! Cross was able to speak with the owners of Tactical Airsoft Supply and acquire a very nice Kevlar helmet, specifically for Ethan. Then Hades and a few other BAR members equipped Ethan with his very own BAR Nerf gun! Ethan was now ready to rock and roll as a member of BAR!
We are truly honored that we were able to spend a few hours with this little man. Ethan is definitely BAR material through and through and we wish this soldier the best of luck. If you would like to know more about Ethan and his story please check out KSL's website. Also, if you would like to be involved and help out Ethan and his family please check out their Facebook page and their GoFundMe page!