Tuesday, January 6, 2009

nick, in his words...


(play as you read)


(1985-2009)

"I love sports and games and when I say that I love sports and games I mean everything. I love to play golf, basketball, baseball, soccer, frisbee, football, tennis, street hockey, and swim..."

(nick at the stratosphere in las vegas)

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"it was brought to my attention today that i had been doing a lot lately and seem to be happier... which got me to thinking that i am going to try to make this one of the best summer's of my life. if there is anyone who wants to help me out in my quest hit me up and i will do basically anything just to be with the people that are important in my life... my friends. as of right now i have tickets to go to kings island, kenny chesney, and john mayer with ben folds.... i also have tickets to a reds game and trying to decide whether or not to pay 160 to see the bengals play. i'm not working so most of the time during the day i am not doing anything and would love it if i had someone that would go out and do something. i don't care what i am just trying to live my life the way i should have the last 21 years of my life. i am getting into the fast lane.... if anyone wants to join me let me know...."



(kenny chesney concert)

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(gabby)

"I have a little devil of a dog. She is a little over a year old beagle and her name is Gabby, not that she listens when you call her anyway but we are working on it... She loves to chew any and everything from a razor blade to a flip flop to a bra. You have got to watch your posessions when you are around her because she will snatch them up in a heartbeat. I share an apartment building in Louisville, KY with my friend from high school. I love the city of Louisville and will probably end up living there when I get older. I love to cook. I love to try different things and I usually can make food that is pretty good at least for a college kid not living off of frozen foods and noodles. I hate to clean after I cook though.... I like to use that george foreman but I got one of the ones that you can't stick in the dishwasher so you have to do it by hand and it sucks."

(gabby and nick)

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"If I could meet anyone in the world I would have to say I would love to meet my donor. I have/had cancer. I have hodgskins lymphoma which as of right now has a 90% cure rate. Well I was diagnosed Feburary 7th, 2000 and I am still fighting it. I have had numerous amounts of chemotherapy and radiation, I have had an experimental CD-30 antibody study, and I am currently approaching the end of my third transplant. The first 2 transplants were otologist transplants which meant that I got my own cells but the difference in this transplant was that it was allogenic which means that someone had to donate their cells to me. The reason I want to meet this person is because in order for me to get this transplant, I had to get my blood typecrossed with donars in the donar registry. Out of all the people in the world that were registered in the blood donar there were only 2 people that matched me in the world. After the doctors determined that I needed this transplant one of the 2 donars was contacted and they accepted. The big deal about this is... this is not like the donar goes and gives a sample of their blood and that is all they have to do. The person who did this had to go through weeks of immunotherapy, taking extra pills, going in for injections periodically and then to give their cells they had to go to the blood bank and sit there all day for 2 days with a catheder running out of both of their arms to save my life. This person has never met me, doesn't know what all I have been through or anything yet they took time, money, and pain to save my life. That is the type of person that I wish I could be and I wish I could meet. Technically at the moment I am cancer free but my immune system is still building thanks to their cells."

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(nick and his mom, jenny)

Posted Feb 20, 2008 7:58am
"Day 567 – Eight years and 12 days ago Nick was diagnosed with Hodgkins and 7 days after that he was released from the hospital --- on my birthday. Since then, February’s have been unsettling for me, particularly when scans are involved. Not that I’m superstitious but, in my mind, the date links me to fault……. that I didn’t watch enough, that I didn’t do what I was suppose to or that I should have been able to do something to prevent this horrible thing that has happened to my son. I think all parents would feel the same way but in the harshest of reality we know that there is very little that we have full control over and we just have to pray for God’s mercy and strength to carry us through.
Nick’s last scans were in September (an eternity ago). St. Jude has added a new building to house their radiology/imaging department. Scans have been delayed since November waiting for the PET to become available. Since that time he has suffered through a horrible case of shingles, had his car hit by a drunk driver, and has become increasingly less mobile from prednisone induced joint damage. So our journey to Memphis Monday night for scans on Tuesday was more ominous than usual.
Nick’s first appointment was early so Bill set the alarm for 5:30 am to give all of us enough time to get ready. Obviously there was something wrong with our clock because after Bill & I showered, we realized it was 5:00 am so I actually got up at 4:30 am. Our schedule went uncommonly smooth. We actually kept on-time for the most part. Our last appointment was with Dr. Hudson and, of course, she had already called for the CT/PET readings before we got to the exam room. CT was clear, PET was clear (except for something in the jaw area which she said was “not worrisome”). My prayer, my hope, my full desire is that we have come full circle. We have some “clean up work” to get Nick back up and going but, hopefully, the Hodgkin’s is gone for good. In the last eight years, this is the longest length of time he has been able to obtain clear scans without chemo. His last chemo was July 31, 2006." jenny gaddis

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"I am extremely competitive... but if you couldn't tell that from the whole thing about my interests then something is wrong with you. That is probably why I love sports and games so much. I love the thrill of winning and losing... the agony of defeat and the glory of victory!"

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nick was competitive. he combatted cancer for nearly 10 years without ever giving up nor giving in to the horrible disease. in my life, have never seen anyone like him...

"2 Timothy 4:7 – "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith."
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please keep nick's family in your thoughts and prayers;
for, they lost their little warrior yesterday.

love and God's blessings,
dani xx


25 comments:

Hannah said...

He must have been a very strong and brave man to have battled what he did. He seemed to be a wonderful person full of light, and I am sure he'll be remembered and loved forever. I'll keep his family in my prayers....

l,
Hannah

Heidi 'n' Jeff said...

I am at a loss for words. This post was both touching and heart wrenching. What a loss for this world. At the same time though, heaven is happy to welcome him home. I will think of this family and pray for them to feel comfort.

Cheri and Jesse said...

Dani, that is a beautiful tribute. What an inspiring man!


Take care,
Cheri

Little Sweethearts said...

Oh Dani, I'm so sorry to hear about Nick. I had been thinking about him actually, during the Christmas holiday, wondering whether an inquiry about his health would be appropriate...

I will be keeping Nick's family in my thoughts. I can't imagine battling Hodgkins for all those years.

Again, I'm so sorry...

Love and many, many hugs,
Tania

SuzanSayz said...

What a beautiful person he must have been. How sad for us all that he was taken so young. I hope that his family will feel comfort and know that there are many people praying for them. And Dani, thank you so much for sharing this sad news. I will pray for you all.

Ginny said...

What a beautiful tribute, Dani!

Molly's Mellow Moments said...

A truly beautiful tribute Dani to clearly a beautiful person.
I hope that all who knew and loved Nick will find comfort at this sad time.

Tabitha said...

Oh Dani ~ what sad news, I am so so sorry to read this post!
My thoughts and prayers are with Nicks family at this time.
Love to you too XXXXX

Amanda said...

I'm so sorry to hear such sad news.
Nick was such an inspiration to us all.
love,
Amanda xxxx

juz said...

What an amazing tribute Dani. As i sit here in tears I feel that I too knew Nick.

My prayers are with his family, and with yours.

Justine

Tanya said...

Oh Dani, I'm so very sorry to hear this incredibly sad news, Nick was a very brave young man & such an inspiration to us all! My prayers are with his family...

love & hugs,
t. xxxxx

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

He was obviously a beautiful, loved person who lived life! I am so sorry you are dealing with this loss. Cancer sucks.

I am praying for your families tonight.

E and T said...

Dani, as soon as I saw Nick's photo and the years 1985 - 2009 my heart sank.

I am so terribly sorry to hear about this tragedy. I loved reading about Nick and what an amzing man and fighter he was. I was inspired to read how he decided to "get in the fast lane" , that's really what it's all about - making every second count; living life to the fullest and sharing it with those you hold cloeset to your heart.

I will be keeping Nick's family in my prayers.

lots of love and hugs to you
Elise

kristen said...

Dani you do give tributes in a way like no other could. So so very sad. I feel for his brave parents. My thoughts are with them a million miles away here in Australia. They obviously raised a fine young man.

dani said...

thank you all so much for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers... it's my hope that nick's family will be lifted by them.

nick gaddis was the epitome of "the comeback kid"!!! there had to have been more than a glimmer of hope that he would in actuality pull through, even this time... until he took his last breath.

i certainly had that thought (hope)when i first heard that he was much worse on monday morning.

God bless his sweet heart...

much love and thanks,
dani

Christy said...

I am so sorry Dani.

Jenn said...

Oh my Dani. What a tragedy.
Thank you for your heartwarming post about this fine young man.

xo

Weith Kick said...

Powerful, very sad. I am sorry for their loss. I had a similar situation happen to a friend of mine back in 1992. He passed when he was 21-ish after battling cancer for 10 years. Nick's family must really be suffering now. My thoughts go out to you and yours.

linda said...

I was truly heartbroken when I saw Nick's picture and then the dates 1985-2009. My heart sank.

I too have a son that was born in 1985 and it's by the grace of God that it was not my son that was called home yesterday. Everyday that God gives us with our children is by grace. My heart aches for his mother.

I have started a new prayer journal for 2009. Nick's family will be my first entry.

Dani...your tribute was wonderful!

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

I am without words...my son is just about the same age. My heart goes out to his family. Please express to them my deepest deepest sympathy.

Robin said...

What an incredible and inspiring person. I'll be praying for his family. My heart breaks for them.

Kellan said...

Oh, Dani - this was such a lovely tribute to the life of an obviously very special person. I'm so sorry for your loss and I will keep Nick's family in my prayers. This made me so happy and it made me so sad - happy for the years he successfully fought this awful disease, happy about the generosity and kindness of his donor and so sad he lost his battle in the end. This was lovely, Dani.

Take care - Kellan

Shannon said...

I am so saddened to read this today. I can only imagine what his family is going through.
Dani. through your writing we have come to know this boy, just like we have come to know the Moss's.
My heart goes out to everyone who has ever lost a child, b/c In my mind there is nothing worse.
We could all take a lesson from Nick...and live our lives to the fullest.
You know...Pete's father was diagnosed with NHL 11 years ago. He's clear and in remission, but it's always in our minds that it could come back.
I will keep NIck's family and friends in my prayers

rhonda said...

i thought of you AS SOON AS i opened the paper this morning.......prayers to his family and to you - such a faithful prayer warrior for so many who need......
loveyou.
r

Lucy said...

Dani,thank you for sharing your wonderful stories about Nick. He is truly an insperational young man and my heart goes out to his family at this most terrible time. This was, beyound doubt a very moving tribute. Heaven has gained a truly special angel.I will pray for Nick's family.
Love and hugs XXXXOOOO