Teen who inspired Holden Beach community dies from cancer

Elijah Clark visiting Holden Beach in August 2018. (Photo: Joyce Ann Carter /Facebook)

PARKERSBURG, WV (WTAP/WWAY) — At 6:15, September 24, Elijah Clark passed away surrounded by family at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

Eli Clark was a 14-year-old from West Virginia who touched the lives of thousands, including many in the Cape Fear region, for his courageous fight against cancer.

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Family says Clark always considered Holden Beach a home away from home when he left Parkersburg. In early August, he and his family spent time in Holden Beach thanks to donations from the community.

“Who would have thought that a young lad like Eli, all the suffering that he’s went through, how he became an ambassador for not only Wood County, but for the area and all over the country,” Wood County Sheriff Steve Stephens said.

Back at Eli’s 14th birthday party, his aunt Joyce Carter told WTAP how much Eli has impacted the community.

“From what people tell me, as much as its helped us, I think it’s helped the community,” she said. “Because so many people have stopped me to tell me how he’s touched them. People stopped him when he’s out with his mom and they’ll say how much they love him. I’ve never met you but I love you.”

Stephens added, “A lot of people came together because of Eli.”

You can donate to his memorial fund here.

Read more here.