A crowdfunding campaign to raise support for a documentary made by the Christian film ministry I am Second of an inspiring, terminally ill teenager has raised over $28,000 in just a few days.
Ethan Hallmark, a 13 year old from Midlothian, Texas, captured the hearts of an entire community and inspired them to live every day to the fullest after being diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare type of childhood cancer.
The campaign, which began Friday, hopes to raise $40,000 by October 6th of this year.
Ethan, who was diagnosed in 2010, was just a normal kid who love playing baseball and dreamed of becoming a doctor. Since his diagnosis, however, he has become a hero in his community, sharing a message of courage and hope greater than his devastating illness.
"With the current treatment options, our son's disease is not curable," said Ethan's mother, Rachel. "Its complex genes are just too smart for us at this point. Our son is slipping from our grips. We're trying to get him to 14. We're trying to give him the best quality of life possible. Each day without pain is a gift, and we're trying to give him many more of those."
The Hallmarks and the residents of their hometown have created a deep bond, encouraging one another and supporting each other throughout the pain.
"Obviously I want to beat this disease," said Ethan. "But I'm not going to be that sad if I don't. I mean, heaven is not a pretty good place. Heaven is a perfect place. Of course I want to live a long life-who doesn't? I want to watch my sister and brothers go to middle school with me. Go to high school. Watch them graduate. Even I want to graduate. It's not my plan though. It's His plan. And His plan is perfect. So really in the end, I will win either way."
The film, produced by I am Second and Ditore Mayo Entertainment, will share the inspiring story of Ethan's journey through interviews with Ethan, his parents and members of the Midlothian community.
"We don't want to waste this cancer," said Ethan's father, Matt. "I mean, he has it. And there's absolutely nothing this world can do to take it away. So the question is, 'What are you going to do with it?' So we choose to make the most out of every day, and making the most out of every day is enjoying what days God gives."
As explained on the IndieGoGo crowdfunding page, "Ethan's story is bigger than one boy. It's about a family and a community intertwined in something larger than life. It's about a journey that millions can relate to ... and millions deserve to see."
To contribute to Ethan's film, visit iamsecond.com/Ethan2ndFilm.