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Happy Birthday, Evan! - From your Army

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Our own Uncle Jimbo and Evan Pertile playing at St. Jude's Hospital in Memphis, TN.

RE: Evan Pertile - A Future Soldier You Should Know
RE: Spiritual Warfare Needed - Evan Pertile
RE: Some Spiritual and Caring Bridge Warfare Needed
RE: Evan Pertile - SYSK Follow Up
RE: Evan Pertile - Returned to Duty
RE: Evan Pertile - Future Soldier and SYSK Follow Up

Yesterday was Evan Pertile's SEVENTH birthday!  Happy Birthday, EVAN!!!

While we're a day late, we'll just celebrate it even more today.  Thanks to all of you who've supported Evan!

Dear Evan's Army,

Happy Birthday to Evan today!!!  Our sweet boy is seven!  His day so far
has been great.  He had breakfast in bed with his brothers, opened some
presents and then went to Sunday School.  He is back at church for a
chili cook-off with Tia and her family and then later a super-fun
birthday party at a giant bounce house extravaganza!  The boys asked me
why I was sad this morning because I was tearful.  I told them they were
tears of JOY! because this year Evan is home where he belongs.  Last
year his birthday in Memphis was so different.  My Dad and Rebecca drove
to Memphis with William, Jonathan, Christina, Ethan, and Molly (the
dog!) but there really is no place like home.

Evan returned two weeks ago to St. Jude for his 6 month check-up.
Praise God his scans were clear!  I feel like we have a couple months of
breathing time until he has to go back again in April.  He will be there
for the better part of a week.  We are on a cyclical pattern here.  Huge
anxiety in the weeks leading up to the return and then 2 months of
relief after he returns home.

The first semester of first grade was very challenging for Evan.  Not
only had he missed almost all of kindergarten and was behind, we found
out there were some learning issues going on as well.  Thankfully, since
returning in January, things have really improved.  Heathwood has been
SUPER in helping accommodate Evan and he is getting extra support every
day.  No more tears and frustration now!  He is smiling again and happy
to be a Highlander once again.

Evan has overcome speech apraxia (an expressive language disorder he was
diagnosed with at age 18 months), medulloblastoma, and now he has
learning issues.  All I know is that God must have an unbelievable plan
for our boy because just one of those issues should be all a little boy
should have to deal with.  Evan recently went through some extensive
testing and has a very high intelligence.  That, combined with his
incredible perseverance, will balance the scales.  He truly is ARMY

We are also proud of Evan's generosity.  Instead of receiving gifts at
his birthday party today, he requested that his friends bring food
donations for Harvest Hope to help feed the hungry in Columbia.  Evan
likes to pay it forward too!

I truly don't know if we could have made it through the past 14 months
with out the prayers and support of so many, known and unknown.  Words
will never be able to express our gratitude.  We love you all!!!