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Bracelets raise funds to fight cancer Sisters take up cause after brother diagnosed

Two year-old Evan Paul has two thoughtful and caring big sisters.

When Evan was diagnosed with cancer, Charlotte, 10, and Emily, 8, wanted to help.

While they couldn’t go with their little brother to every medical appointment he had in Philadelphia, they knew they could do something

And so they started selling customized bracelets to raise funds for a nonprofit organization that helps families of pediatric cancer patients.

To date, they’ve raised more than $500 for Kisses for Kyle Foundation.

“They just wanted to do something to be more involved with what he is going through - and to be able to give back,” said their mother, Rachel Paul, of Tamaqua.

The family will be recognized and the girls will receive the Cancer Fighter Award on Saturday during the annual American Cancer Society Telethon broadcast live from Penn’s Peak.

Rachel said Evan was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a type of eye cancer, when he was 6 months old.

“He’s has always been treated in Philadelphia, so it is a lot of back and forth for us,” Rachel said.

With Charlotte and Emily in school, she said, the family can’t always travel together to Evan’s appointments.

“Before Evan being diagnosed with this, we never spent any time away from the girls,” Rachel said.

On one trip to Philadelphia, Rachel said she and her husband, Terry Paul, were told that they would have to stay overnight.

“We needed a place to stay on very short notice,” Rachel recalled. “Then we were told that we got a hotel room at one of the local hotels and to just go there, I asked (the hospital), ‘Who got us this room?’ because I wanted to thank them.”

It turned out to be the Kisses for Kyle Foundation. The nonprofit helps families in the Greater Philadelphia Area who are battling childhood cancer, and was founded for Kyle Snyder, a young boy who lost his battle to leukemia in 1998.

Charlotte and Emily were touched by the hotel room offer and the story behind Kisses for Kyle Foundation, Rachel said.

“That’s who they chose to raise money for,” Rachel said. “I think it all stemmed from the fact that they couldn’t be there with us as much as they wanted to be. They wanted to feel more involved.”

The girls went on the Pura Vida website and customized bracelets in shades of gold, which represents childhood cancer awareness.

When their first order of bracelets arrived, Rachel mentioned it on social media. It didn’t take long for the “Evan’s Bracelets” to sell out.

“The word kind of spread from there,” Rachel said. “Teachers (at the Tamaqua Area School District) and friends were asking about them.”

The sisters raised $500 and turned over the funds to Kyle’s mother, Sharon Snyder, founder and president of Kisses for Kyle.

“It makes them feel good because they did it,” Rachel said of the fundraiser. “When they go to school or out and about and see their friends and teachers wearing the bracelets, they are happy.”

Rachel said that even though Evan has “been through a lot” he makes the best out of every situation.

“Evan is such a happy, caring little boy. He is the biggest animal lover you would ever met. He loves farm animals and dinosaurs and is always stomping and roaring around the house,” Rachel said. “He is our little super hero!”

Charlotte Paul, 10, left, Evan Paul, 2, and Emily Paul, 8. Evan is battling cancer and his sisters started raising funds for the Kisses for Kyle Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps families with children who have cancer. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Sisters Charlotte Paul, 10, left, and Emily Paul, 8, are wearing the Pura Vida bracelets they sold to benefit the Kisses for Kyle Foundation, a nonprofit childhood cancer organization, in honor of their brother, Evan Paul, 2, who has a form of eye cancer. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO