Grand Ledge 4-year-old is 2012 Miracle Child

Cancer diagnosis doesn’t slow down Evan Yaney

Published: May 17, 2012

Sparrow's 2012 Miracle Child Evan Yaney likes two things: his Sparrow doctors and dinosaurs.

When the 4-year-old visits Sparrow Children's Center for chemotherapy, the Physicians and Caregivers cater to his every preference, down to the dinosaur stickers at the receptionist's desk.

"It really makes us feel like we're not just another Patient," said Evan's mom Wendy Yaney of Grand Ledge. "There's a real personal touch."

As Sparrow's Miracle Child, Evan is featured in billboards, advertisements and during community events to promote the Sparrow Children's Center Telethon, which kicks off June 1.

Evan was diagnosed with leukemia in July 2010 and has undergone chemotherapy and more than a dozen hospitalizations since. He has about two more years of treatment to complete, but that doesn't appear to be slowing down the energetic and happy child.

"We could have gone anywhere in the world for his treatment, and we chose to stay here," said his dad Dr. Kent Yaney, DO, a Sparrow Emergency Department physician. "I don't think we did just as well as we could have anywhere else in the world, I think we did better because (Sparrow Caregivers) are so personal. They're so caring."

Dr. Renuka Gera, MD, pediatric oncologist at Sparrow and professor of pediatrics at Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine, said making children and families feel comfortable while providing access to state-of-the-art medicine is an important part of care at Sparrow.

"The treatment for these children is long so it needs to happen close to home in their own environment," said Dr. Gera. "But this is only going to be possible with the community's support."

The Sparrow Children's Center Telethon will air 9-11:30 p.m. June 1 and noon-6 p.m. June 2 on WILX TV-10.