Benefit planned for Berwick toddler battling cancer

Shannon MacDonald
Published on April 13, 2014

Levi Sherman is a typical, happy two-year-old  who can often be found with a huge smile on his face despite the fact that he is fighting a serious illness.

A year ago, the Berwick boy’s life changed dramatically when his parents, Allan Sherman and Eleanor Warner, discovered lumps on Levi’s head and neck. Their doctor originally told the worried parents that little Levi was fighting a virus, but parental intuition told them it was something more and they quickly sought another opinion. Within days of seeing a second doctor, Levi was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and immediately began a three-and-a-half year treatment to battle the cancer.

The seriousness of Levi’s illness and the long, intense fight he has ahead of him is clearly illustrated when Levi shows off his ‘bravery beads.’ Each time he has a procedure done, Levi receives a bead. His strand is already longer than he is tall.

Levi likes all sports, but he has a special love for hockey.

“We were in the hospital and we had to turn the game off because he was jumping off the bed and getting excited and stuff and it was like 10:30 at night,” Sherman recalled.

Besides sports, Levi has a great love for the ocean.

“He would get very nauseous through some of the chemotherapy, and he would want us to drive him to the ocean,” Warner explained.

Sherman says the hardest part to deal with is when Levi feels ill after chemotherapy and there is nothing they can do to make him feel better.

With his big, bright eyes and hundred-watt smile, Levi melts the hearts of the nurses who care for him.

“They fight over him,” Sherman joked as he tickled Levi, who erupted into a bout of giggles.

Levi’s parents say they have found that many people are unaware of how long the treatment is for children with ALL.

“It’s a long process,” Sherman explained. “It’s not a ‘take a pill and it’s over,’ right?”

The health insurance Warner gets from her employer covers most of Levi’s medical expenses but travel costs have been a hardship for the family, especially now that they’re down to one income as one of them has to stay at home to care for Levi. Because of his almost non-existent immune system, attending daycare is out of the question. Since Levi’s diagnosis last year, the family has made 35 trips into the IWK.

 A benefit is being held in his honour on April 19 to help ease the cost of Levi’s treatment.

The event will be held at the Berwick Fire Hall. Dinner is from 3 to 6 p.m. and will be followed by a live auction. Tickets for the benefit cost $15 and admission is free for children under five.

Sherman and Warner say they are grateful Deanna Clay, a close family friend, has organized the benefit. It’s the things people do out of the kindness of their hearts that mean the most to Sherman and Warner, like when a friend booked and paid for a week-long stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Halifax during one of Levi’s first visits to the IWK or when a cancer survivor played music for Levi while he was in the hospital. Sherman and Warner say they want all the people and businesses within the community who have given their support to know it means a lot to them.

For more information about the benefit, contact Clay at 233-1189 or