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Community, churches sing support for 9-year-old battling cancer

Members of the community and church families across the county came together Saturday afternoon at Good Shepherd Outreach Mission Church in Halifax to support Trevant Coleman, a precocious little fourth grader at South Boston Elementary School battling brain cancer.

The event was hosted by a local organization, the Ladies In Red, and sponsored by Good Shepherd Outreach Mission Church.  

The program included performances by the Rock of Salvation Praise Dancers, Spanish Grove Baptist Church Choir and Abiding Branch Praise Dancers, Cord Cole, Nat Buster and others.

Making the event especially memorable was a presentation by Sheriff Fred Clark who made Coleman an honorary deputy of the Halifax County Sheriff’s Office. 

The 9-year-old also was made an honorary firefighter with the South Boston Fire Department.

 “I just want to say thank you. The support has been overwhelming,” said Adrean Coleman, Trevant’s mother.

It was almost a year ago when she noticed her son beginning to have weakness on the left side of his body.  Doctors later discovered the 9-year-old had a tumor on his brain stem. 

On March 26, Trevant was diagnosed with brain cancer, and doctors told his mother the tumor was inoperable because of its location on the brain.

“It was real hurtful because I had dealt with cancer before with my grandma and saw what she went through, but to know a child was going through it. I didn’t realize so many children had cancer until then,” Coleman said of her feeling after receiving the news of her son’s illness. 

Trevant took the news of his illness very well, she said.

However, she added, she’s not sure he understood the severity of it at first.

His faith in God gets him through, according to his mom.

Prayer is what his mom said is helping her deal with her son’s illness.

“I try not to fall apart, because I have three other kids, and they’re what’s keeping me going,” Coleman said. “I know he if stays here, he’s going to be OK, and if he goes, he’s going to be OK because I’m pretty sure Trevant is going to heaven if he goes,”  she said of her oldest child.

The mother of four said her other three children are coping with his illness very well.

Trevant has two sisters, 3-year-old Kendra and 4-year-old Kierra Hamlett and a 6-year-old brother, Darius Hamlett.

Their mother said Trevant’s siblings have been very helpful and often sit by his bedside rubbing his hand.

Coleman said she has explained to them that Trevant may be going to see God.

Through it all, Coleman said the ordeal has really brought her family closer together, and they have given her much support during this trying time.

Coleman said it was her aunt and uncle, Robert and Latonda Yancey, who took care of Trevant during his stay at MCV so she would be able to work and care for her other children.

The two said he was an inspiration to the hospital staff and has made a big impact on their lives.

 “He pulled everybody together everywhere he went. It was his power,” Robert said.

He and his wife believe that Trevant’s faith in God is very strong, and it strengthens their own faith.

 “I told him that I would stand with him in his faith,” she added.

“The hardest thing I had ever had to face was when the doctors said they couldn’t do anything for him and to take him home,” Robert said.

He understands they were giving him the facts, but he knows that God is still in control.

The doctors at MCV pulled all the cords from Trevant, including the cord for his fluids and were going to let him dehydrate, but God had other plans, the Yanceys agreed.

While her family has been a big help, Coleman said she also is very grateful for the support she has received from the community.

People have helped her with fundraisers and have given her moral and emotional support, she added. People also have brought her food and helped her with her kids.

Coleman said her church, the New St. Luke, has helped her tremendously throughout her son’s illness.

On Thursday, employees of Mecklenburg Electric Cooperative visited Trevant in the hospital where they presented him with a certificate and a hard hat making him an honorary lineman.

The school system has been great also, his mother said, with students, teachers and administrators wearing supportive T-shirts and wrists bands.

Martha Brizendine, a teacher at South Boston Elementary, attended the service Saturday afternoon and had plenty of kind things to say about her personal experiences with Trevant.

“If you’ve met Trevant, you’ve met God, and you are better for knowing both of them,” she said.

Tracey B. Williams, a former South Boston Elementary teacher and  Trevant’s homebound  teacher, described working with the 9-year-old as “a joy.”

“He enjoys learning, and there has never been a dull moment,” she added.

She said Trevant enjoys motivating others and would stop by her classroom to give her students words of encouragement.

He currently is a patient in Halifax Regional Hospital where he is visited and comforted by many family and friends.

 “Trevant is taking it day by day,” his mom said.