Type of Sarcoma: Ewing Sarcoma
Date of Diagnosis: 2012
Every child is special. Special to their parents, to their siblings, to their extended family, to their friends…
Nick is our oldest child and Pat’s brother. Nick loved life. He liked to bike, travel, hang out with friends and family, play games, ski, swim and just have fun. Nick really cared about others, especially his brother.
In September 2012, Nick had just landed his career job as an intern architect at Pope Architects. He had just bought a new project car for he and his dad to work on and was contemplating how long to wait before getting his own place. However, he also had back pain that was getting worse.
In late October, early November we discovered that pain was not caused by a bike injury, it was not a ruptured disc, it was instead Ewing Sarcoma. Nick handled that diagnosis with pure grace. Was he mad? Of course he was. But he was determined to continue with his life, as best as he could, working at his new job, hanging out with friends, playing video games with Pat, travel to weddings and Notre Dame football games and mostly he was determined to become cancer free.
Throughout the treatments and the setbacks Nick rarely complained. He would pause, contemplate and try to figure out a new strategy with his wonderful oncology team. One hospital stay in particular illustrates Nick’s personality perfectly. He was inpatient with lots of pain, a slight fever and they were trying to determine if the cancer had spread. A young man was admitted to the bed next to Nick’s while waiting for a single room. He and his wife had just found out that he had cancer. Nick’s first concern was that we talk to them and let them know they were in a good place with great doctors and nurses. AND that we had to pass along all of our insider, veteran tips to make their stay and treatment easier.
Nick was also very concerned about children with cancer. He would often say, I have been able to live a good life. I’ve traveled, gone to my dream college, made lots of friends. These little kids haven’t had that chance yet. This is what makes me angry, this needs to change.
On March 2, 2017 Nick died from Ewing Sarcoma. We have set up a fund in his name to help change this story for all of the kids because every child is special.