Hand-slapping mission accomplished.
Evan Thornton, a 9-year-old boy battling a rare form of bone cancer, broke a world record Thursday evening in St. Anthony: most high-fives in a single minute. And hundred of community members lent a hand to help. The group formed two lines and stuck a hand toward the middle, creating one long hand-filled aisle for Thornton to high-five his way through, WCCO reports.
Thornton's goal? Top the previous world record of 212.
He did it easily, notching 221 celebratory hand slaps (one for each person in attendance) – and with seconds to spare.
[preserve][/preserve] " ... so amazing!!!" Trina Thornton, Evan's mother, wrote on her son's CaringBridge site. "We had so many family, friends, school mates, coworkers, neighbors, long time friends, brand new faces, and we even gathered random runners and strangers, who had no idea what was going on, be a part of this day! I can't tell you enough of how touching this event was. You ALL were the reason we can celebrate this day! Thank you!"
The Thorntons were taking voluntary donations during the event, as they try to get Evan the best treatment possible, KSTP reports. Evan's father Michael Thornton tells KSTP their son's two-year fight has led them to try new options – some of it experimental, and none of it covered by insurance.
But they're battling, the couple tells the station, and hoped Thursday's high-five record provided their son a new jolt of energy.
A Facebook page for Evan Thornton features a post written by Trina, explaining how they found a lump on the boy's lower rib and was also experiencing pain while sleeping. So they went to a doctor, then visited multiple hospitals, and got the news: Evan had bone cancer.
The family is taking donations any time. They can be mailed to: Evan Joseph Thornton Benefit Fund TCF National Bank 801 Marquette Ave #100, Minneapolis, MN 55402; or can be made through this website.
The world record attempt is part of “National High Five Day,” an annual event held on the third Thursday in April by the National High Five Project. The project also sells items in conjunction with the event, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to five different cancer research centers.