Make-A-Wish Foundation brings joy to Gulfport boy fighting leukemia

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - When it comes to 4-year-old Evan Heidingsfelder, it's debatable whether or not there's anyone who knows more about trains. From each intricate part, to its everyday functions, Evan has made it a mission to go in depth and learn as much as he can about those massive railroad cars.

"He runs out of the door and sits on the porch watching the train until it goes by. He's been obsessed with trains for a couple of years now, so he is so excited to go do this," Evan's mother, Mary Heidingsfelder said.

Evan has been battling lymphoid leukemia for quite a while now. When his family was asked what he'd want most from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the answer was simple.

"Evan immediately thought that his wish would be to be a train conductor. He loves trains so he's going to be leaving in a little while to go be a Steam Engine Conductor and we thought, what better place to give his big reveal than Downtown Gulfport's Train Depot," Shellie Moses, with Make-A-Wish Mississippi said.

The event at the depot on Monday was a way to celebrate Evan and the people who love him most. There's plenty to celebrate about. Next week the toddler and his family will be whisked away to Colorado and from there, it's all aboard.

Evan's mother says her son has had a fascination with trains for about two years now, so she knows this is experience will truly be a dream come true for him.

"When he was diagnosed with leukemia he was watching Thomas the Trains in the hospital room and ever since then he's been obsessed with trains. We haven't had a vacation since he's been diagnosed so we get to go away for a few days and be normal. I'm very grateful to Make-A-Wish for making this happen for us" Heidingsfelder said.

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