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9-year-old Fort Kent boy raises thousands for friend fighting cancer

FORT KENT, Maine — The grounds of the Fort Kent Outdoor Center were bursting with reds and golds on Thursday, July 12, as nearly 200 people wore those colors while participating in 9-year-old Devon Cyr’s birthday walk fundraiser in honor of his friend and fourth-grade classmate Kearston Albert.

Albert is battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Rather than receive presents for himself for his birthday, Cyr, who has Down syndrome and is a Special Olympian, chose to host the walk to raise funds to help support Albert, whose favorite superhero is Iron Man. Cyr asked that walkers wear the colors of Iron Man, red and gold, at the birthday benefit. Cyr also requested that walkers donate $9 each for the cause.

“I think it was incredible that that many people came out to show their support. It was a heart-warming feeling,” said Davis Cyr, Devon Cyr’s brother and an event co-organizer.

Devon’s Birthday Benefit Walk raised more than $7,000 as of Saturday, and donations continue to roll in, according to Davis Cyr.

Albert was first diagnosed with cancer when she was just 3 years old, and despite several recurrences of the cancer, has defeated the disease in every round thus far.

She recently suffered a setback with her health and will undergo treatments in Philadelphia, including chemotherapy and T cell infusions, in the coming months.

Sheri Albert, Kearston’s mother, said she was thankful to the Cyr family for organizing the fundraiser.

“Devon and his family are some of the most kind, loving and genuine people. It takes special people to be so selfless,” Sheri Albert said. “Devon himself has touched my heart in so many ways with his innocence and gentleness. When he sees Kearston, he always asks how she’s doing and he always tells her that he prays for her all the time; so, so special.”

One such occasion especially stood out as heartwarming, Sheri Albert said.

Devon Cyr was visiting the Albert home in the morning when Kearston came down the family stairs after having just woken up.

“He looked at her in all seriousness and said, ‘Good morning beautiful,’’ Sheri Albert said.  

It is not too late to donate to Devon’s birthday benefit in support of Kearston. To contribute to the fundraiser, contact Devon’s mother, Lynne Cyr, on Facebook, or mail donations to: Devon Cyr, 100 St.  John Road, Fort Kent, Maine 04743.

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