Family of young girl with terminal cancer has plenty to give thanks for

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RIESEL, Texas (KWTX) The family of a 5-year-old Central Texas girl battling a terminal brain tumor says they’re got reason to be extra thankful this Thanksgiving after receiving the results of her latest MRI Wednesday.

Layla Evetts was asked to toss the coin at a game between Riesel High School, and Crawford High School at Gatesville High School’s McKamie Stadium. (Courtesy photo)

Layla Evetts of Riesel and Joshua was diagnosed in February with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a very aggressive type of tumor at the base of the brain and at the time was given only nine months to live.

In June, however, an MRI showed that the tumor had shrunk in size by half and her latest MRI Wednesday, just days short of nine months since her diagnosis, showed no new growth.

“In this battle, stability is winning,” her father, Corey Evetts, said.

Her family says every day with Layla at this point is a miracle.

“Thursday Nov. 22 is nine months post diagnosis,” Evetts said.

“Nine months is as long as they initially gave Layla, so for her to be doing so well and us having this Thanksgiving makes it an extra thankful one.”

Evetts says he can’t thank the community enough for coming together to support his family.

There have been multiple fundraisers, one which included a princess party for Layla that grossed more than $155,000.

The latest act of kindness came last Friday on a football field in Central Texas when Layla was asked to toss the coin at a game between Riesel High School, and Crawford High School at Gatesville High School’s McKamie Stadium.

Evetts is a 2004 Gatesville graduate, said he wasn’t surprised Layla’s battle has had so much of an impact in Riesel, but was moved that Crawford’s team was also touched by the young girl’s story.

“The head coach came over with huge tears in his eyes and gave Layla a huge double high five and I nearly lost it,” Evetts said.

“Then walking off the field the Riesel head coach came over and did the same and said ‘hey we got you,’” he recalled.

“It’s just an awesome thing to be a part of.”

Immediately following Wednesday’s MRI, Layla began cycle 8 of chemotherapy.