Community brings boy battling cancer to Holden Beach


HOLDEN BEACH, NC (WWAY) — It’s a story of support and care for a 14-year-old boy from West Virginia. He’s been battling cancer and when asked where he wanted to go for vacation this year, he said two words: Holden Beach.

Elijah Clark was diagnosed with Central Nervous System Neuroblastoma, a rare form of brain cancer. Doctors say the tumor is growing, so his mom and dad asked him where he wanted to go for vacation. He chose Holden Beach, a spot the family has gone every year since 1983.

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“My wife got on the Friends of Holden Beach page and just put a post out there saying ‘I know this is late but does anybody know of a house we can rent for the week. We really want to bring Eli to the beach this year,'” Eli’s dad Roy Clark said.

But the community wanted to do more. They raised almost $5,000 to bring Eli and his family down.

“Within a day they had everything taken care of and so my wife was talking with one of the ladies she had been corresponding with and said ‘who do I call to give our debit card to’ and she says ‘don’t worry about that, it’s all taken care of,'” Roy said.

When they arrived, signs were ready to welcome Eli, a fridge and cabinets were full of food and large kites anchored outside of their beach house instead of the pier, so Eli could enjoy the site. Holden Beach resident Trina Giampocaro says many people don’t see the Clarks as just visitors but family.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all. Just good people here and the lovely support that they have for him and everything and the family it’s just…we couldn’t wait to get them here,” Giampocaro said.

Everyone is hoping for the best for Eli.

“Holden beach is definitely #elistrong,” Giampocaro said.

Many people have come by to see Eli and root for him. Local EMS has also told the family that whenever they need to move Eli, to let them know so they can help him out as well.