“Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul.” – Jim Valvano
You can only imagine what it’s like to be diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. The anxiety and fear that ensues us when hearing such negative news like this can only be described as terrifying.
Now imagine if you were only 8 years old. Imagine if you were the parent of this child. Being a father of multiple children I can’t imagine what it’s like getting this type of news.
Candice Pissers received news of her baby boy Nicholas Miller that he had stage 4 Neuroblastoma in the fall of 2011, a cancer that affects the soft tissue in the nervous system. By the time he was diagnosed he had 9 tumors and the cancer had spread to 70% of his bone marrow.
Earlier in that year, Nicholas woke up complaining about leg and foot pain. His mother took him to the hospital and was brushed off with “its growing pains, take some Motrin and he’ll be ok.” Taking the hospitals advice she did what any mother would and went home to live her life.
After 9 months went by, little Nicholas woke up one day and couldn’t move. His hip was hurting him so much he couldn’t even walk. A trip to the pediatrician’s office ultimately led them to Sunrise children’s hospital where they found out the bad news.
Immediately after finding out it was cancer, Nicholas’ doctors installed a portacath and within a week he was getting chemo therapy treatments.
Wow! 8 years old and fighting a battle most adults couldn’t fight. This little boy may have the physical strength of a regular cat but he more than makes up for it with his heart of a Lion. Looking at Nicholas he seems like a regular little boy that loves bike riding and X-games. In fact, he IS a regular little boy he’s just finding a condition that most of us would never have the strength to fight. I look up to Nicholas. The many fights I have been through in life are nothing compared to this his.
So how did our paths cross? How did I get to meet such a wonderful family? A good friend of mine by the name of Ricardo Laguna hit me up and told me that a cool little kid was coming over to BMX with him and since I run a non-profit organization that helps kids get active, healthy, and fit maybe I’d be interested in meeting him.
You bet I was! So I drove over to his house and met him & Nick in his back yard. Ricardo’s backyard is like heaven for a BMX rider. Cool ramps, dirt mounds, and a mini racing track is back there. The perfect place for two people that like to ride.
Nicholas is heavy into the X-games. His favorite sport is Motor Cross and rider is Travis Pastrana. Being only 8 years old it’s pretty hard to ride motorized bikes but BMX’ing is something that’s a little more accessible. Nick came over in full gear with his BMX bike and got to ride with a well-known bike celebrity. How cool is that!
For the afternoon the two just hung out and rode. I am honored to have a friend like Laguna. To be a celebrity and give back as much as he does is not too common. I am constantly hearing about things he is doing in the community and am blessed he has chosen to be a part of an organization I helped found, as well as being a part of multiple great community events.
It is truly a blessing that the city of Las Vegas has such a great soul. Thank you Ricardo Laguna for putting a smile on little Nicholas’ face. That’s what giving back is all about.
Nicholas Miller is now on the road to recovery.
Recently, he has gotten 5 rounds of amino therapy anti body treatment. A treatment that over stimulates the immune system with medication where he is infused with a chemical called chimeric, a humanized anti body that’s 2/3 human DNA and 1/3 mouse DNA. Chimeric attaches itself to the cancer cells and because of the mouse DNA it triggers the immune system to attack the cancer.
Nicky has responded amazingly to this, says his mother. “We’re hoping for the words FULL REMISSION by February 2013.”
Well Candice, we are all hoping for those words too!