How one Moline police officer is making a difference in a kid’s cancer fight

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A big gift from a local police officer is helping an East Moline family be closer to their sick son.

Doctors diagnosed 11-year-old Evan Thomas with stage three leukemia in December. They sent him for treatment in Peoria and two weeks later his family’s car broke down. 

His mom Latonya has been taking the bus to visit her son when she can, but when Moline police officer Pat Moody heard their story he knew what he could do to help: give them a car.

“I just knew immediately that, you know, it was something I wanted to be a part of,” Moody said.

Moody worked with the Moline Municipal Credit Union to buy this SUV from Cheap Cars in Silvis at trade-in value.

“Not only is this car yours, but I’m paying for the taxes and registration for the car,” Moody told Latonya. “It’s got a full tank of gas.” 

Latonya was speechless when Moody first showed her the car, but not for long.

“It is very scary. It’s really really hard,” Latonya said. “It’s a blessing for what I received today because now when [Evan] calls me I can just tell him I’m on my way. I don’t have to sit and wait for the bus no more. I can go directly to him. He don’t have to be sad or lonely because we’re not there. He can see us everyday.” 

Moody heard about the family’s struggles from a GoFundMe Evans’ teachers made for him. So far they’ve raised $5,000. 

The money will go a long way. Evan also had a stroke, which led to two brain surgeries. He may need to have a third.

Soon his treatment will move to chicago, which means a longer drive for the family.

But Latonya is hopeful. 

“I feel blessed,” she said. “Evan is the type of child that if you ask him to do something, he will do it. He would do anything he can to help the next person and all the people’s are helping him now. 

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