Lia Surprise Squad helps young girl battling rare disease give back to her community

(Western Mass News photo)

A 3-year-old girl suffering from a rare kidney disease is giving back to her community with the power of books.

Little Evelyn has put up a strong fight, so the Lia Auto Group Surprise Squad wanted to give Evelyn a gift she surely will never forget.

Today's Surprise Squad recipient is Evelyn Jae Wilson. She's a very special young girl fighting a very tough illness.

Evelyn is like most three year olds, full of life and energy, but she also has neuphrotic syndrome - a chronic, rare kidney disease.

"It's hard. She's gone through so much. She spent three months in the hospital and really came close to losing her life when she was younger. It's not easy to see your kid going through something and you're helpless," said Stephanie Marrero-Wilson, Evelyn's mom.

While in the hospital, Evelyn discovered the power of books in her recovery. Now that she's out, she wants to give back.

"It's a bookshelf in pediatric nephrology with some books and the patients get to choose one book each month. Now, we just have an ongoing book drive," Marrero-Wilson explained.

Evelyn is a big fan of Western Mass News, so after beating Jacob in a few games of Connect Four, we hit the road to visit the newsroom.

She had a blast seeing the station behind the scenes and even had a chance to try out the weather wall.

We then took Evelyn to another part of the studio where we had set-up a surprise from the Lia Auto Group Surprise Squad.

There were a bunch of toys, even a new bike, and the Springfield Museums got in on the fun with a surprise from the Cat in the Hat!

Along with family fun, we took a page out of Evelyn's book by donating hundreds of publications to the hospital, so kids like Evelyn can escape reality with a good read, provided by Link to Libraries and the Eric Carle Museum.

Six Flags New England also joined with even more with six tickets for the family to visit anytime.

"She loves to know that she's helping other people, which is the biggest reason we started the book program," Marrero-Wilson added.

If you'd like to donate to Evelyn's cause, you can CLICK HERE.

If you know someone deserving of a visit from the Lia Auto Group Surprise Squad, email surprisesquad@westernmassnews.com.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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