SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The simplicity of a small act can have such a big impact.
20-year-old Ethan Rivard had been battling cancer since he was 18-months-old.
Over the course of 19-years, he had gone through chemotherapy, radiation, stem cell transplants and two brain surgeries.
Yet, Ethan was more than his diagnosis, there was a lot in life he enjoyed; with one of those things being food.
Seafood and burgers were his favorite. He specifically loved the burgers at Ale ‘n’ Angus Pub in Syracuse. He visited there often with his uncle, mom or dad, usually for lunch, and quickly came to love the pubs food.
“He always took the opportunity to order the biggest possible burger on the menu,” said Ethan’s dad, Tom Rivard. “First time he went down, he just fell in love with it,”
The time Ethan spent outside of the restaurant’s booth would be spent recommending the restaurant to others. On social media, he was very active on “Where Syracuse Eats” pages.
He would always respond to posts asking for the best burger, and send people in the direction of Ale ‘n’ Angus.
It wasn’t until a few months ago, Ethan’s health took a devastating turn. His dad said Ethan always bounced back before, but not this time.
“Six weeks after a clean scan, Ethan started showing symptoms,” said Rivard.
Shortly after, Ethan lost his fight to an aggressive brain tumor.
Although Ethan is gone, he will never be forgotten, Ale ‘n’ Angus’ owner, Matt Beach, made sure of that.
Beach was able to get to know Ethan pretty well because of his frequenting at the restaurant.
“He was like an Ale ‘n’ Angus advocate,” said Beach.
Beach explained that Ethan started going to Ale ‘n’ Angus about three years ago, and would be at the pub during slower parts of the day, giving him the opportunity to get to know Ethan.
“The cool thing about Ethan is that he is a sweet kid, very positive and knows what he likes,” said Beach.
Ethan was also always eager to try the Ale ‘n’ Angus’ Burger of the Week.
His favorite was the angus burger with bacon, pepper jack, jalapenos, crispy onion straws, beer cheese and raspberry jalapeno aioli.
Beach felt the best way to honor Ethan was to name this week’s burger of the week the “Ethan Rivard” which included all of the ingredients from Ethan’s favorite burger.
“What better way to recognize Ethan than to have the burger he liked the most,” explained Beach. “That is our way of showing that he is a piece of Ale ‘n’ Angus, and a part of him is here.”
Beach said that they have already sold a good amount of the burgers so far this week.
Ethan’s family is touched by Beach’s act of kindness.
“There’s good people out there who do good things and try to remember people for their goodness,” said Rivard. “To me, it’s like a community coming together to honor this kid, honor this life.”
You can find a picture of Ethan hanging above the booth he would always sit in at Ale ‘n’ Angus, and while you’re inside, order an Ethan Rivard.