ROSEPINE — A very young parade marshal will head off this year’s Rosepine Christmas parade.

ROSEPINE — A very young parade marshal will head off this year’s Rosepine Christmas parade.

Evin Kemp is only 2 years old. He is the son of second grade teacher Christine and Kevin, and brother to Brooklyn, who is in second grade.

Terry Joplin, from the parade committee, and fellow teacher, first approached Christine about the parade.

“She told me they’d like for Evin to be the grand marshal. We have another little girl in our community who has leukemia, as well. She’s been in the parade before. They are recognizing the kids who are battling leukemia, or different types of illnesses, to be the grand marshal,” said Christine.

Evin was diagnosed with leukemia in November, 2015.

“He has to take lots of steroids, and he’s in the terrible twos, but he’s also amped up on all the medication,” Christine said.

Evin’s grandmother, who watches him during the day, said she can tell when he’s on the steroids; he’s wild.

Christine thought he was having a reaction to his one year shots last year, so she took Evin to the doctor. His pediatrician, who was also Christine’s childhood doctor, told the family that his blood work was terrible.

“I’d never seen that look on his face before,” she said. “He told me his blood work didn’t look good, so we went to a Lafayette hematologist/oncologist for more blood work. Then a bone marrow test that next week, on Veteran’s Day.”

The bone marrow test confirmed the doctors’ suspicions that Evin had leukemia.

Christine said Evin has done well with the treatments.

“Right now he’s able to take his medicine here at home. It’s come along a lot in these last few years. Now they can send you home with a prescription, instead of having to go in every day for chemo,” she said.

They have to check in with a doctor once every two weeks. Eventually this will stretch out to monthly visits.

Due to the chemotherapy, Evin basically does not have an immune system.

“Chemo wipes it out, so even if he gets just a little fever, I have to take him to the doctor because he doesn’t have a way to fight it off,” she said.

Christine has a lot on her plate as a teacher and mother of two, and of course taking care of Evin’s needs. Her husband, Kevin, works overseas.

“My husband was home when Evin was officially diagnosed. We were in the hospital for eight days after they made the diagnosis, and then he had to go back to work,” Christine said.

For Evin’s sister Brooklyn, “It’s been hard, but she’s been a good big sister for him,” said Christine.

Evin will ride on a large military cargo truck called a “deuce-and-a-half.”

“The brother-in-law of a girl I work with owns it, and they are going to fix it up for him,” she said.

The family will ride on the truck with Evin.