Friday Feb 08 2013
Recognizing Youth Achievements
Boy who beat cancer now living teen years to the fullest
By: Russell Postell
Parents told he wouldn’t make it to ninth birthday
It is easy to recognize those we see in our community with shiny awards and the customary accolades. So this month we want to recognize the strength and courage of one young man and his family as he has overcome a challenge of life.
A consistent “tummy ache” and low grade fever that was misdiagnosed by several doctors to the point where one doctor told his mom that she was over-reacting when she pushed for more test and information lead to a horrifying discovery. On May 8, 2006, when Nick Lynch was just 8 years old, he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. Nick and his family were told that he would not live to see his ninth birthday. Through his mom’s persistence, family commitment and Nick’s perseverance, Nick is now 15 years old, a freshman at Granite Bay High School and full of life like any other 15-year-old boy.
When you talk to Nick, as I did, you get a sense of a young man who knows his fortunes, appreciates his family and the many doctors and specialists that help him to overcome this life challenge, as they are the ones he points to as playing the biggest role in recovery.
Having made over 50 trips back and forth to New York’s Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, fighting through five rounds of chemotherapy and being treated with antibodies from a mouse, Nick stands tall each day and looks forward to a life of outdoor activities.
May 12, 2006: ACT scan reveals a mass in his abdomen. Biopsy surgery was botched and the prognosis was horrible.
May 23, 2006: Chemo is started.
June 26, 2006: Diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.
Feb. 28, 2012: Quarterly testing no longer needed … only annual checkups with long-term survival team!
Looking to the future
When asked about his future Nick’s first word was “outdoors.” “I want to do something outdoors like a park ranger. And if you know Nick you will understand his answer, as he enjoys nothing more than fishing and bird hunting ... oh, and building model RC airplanes.
When you ask Nick if he could change one thing in the world, he says “that no kids would have to go through what I battled.” To that end Nick has consistently participated in St. Baldrick’s, has been the keynote speaker at American Cancer Society (ACS) events, was survivor of the year for ACS Sacramento and spoke at bandofparents.org.
When asked to name one person that he looks up to or admires, he took a long pause, but named no one person.
It seems to me that in his battle there were just too many to name and he is too shy to name himself.
I will do it for you Nick Lynch. You are without doubt and example of R. Postell Insurance values, Improve the life of one person each day, Nick your story is inspiration to us all.
Russell Postell is owner of Postell Insurance in Granite Bay. Recognizing Youth Achievements is a monthly column highlighting the accomplishments of local students. E-mail your student’s achievement to firstname.lastname@example.org.