Nick was a typical teenage boy completing middle school and getting ready to begin high school. He played basketball and lacrosse year round and was an overall excellent student. In May of 2021 at 14 years old, Nick was diagnosed with a NGGCT (Non-Germinomatous Germ Cell Tumor) in his brain. He began chemotherapy right away in hopes that his tumor would shrink. He was in the hospital for about one month before going to a rehabilitation center, where he was learning to walk again and strengthen his body.
In July, his scans showed that his tumor was growing and he would need surgery to remove it. In September, Nick underwent a 12 hour craniotomy. With some of the best surgeons in the world, they were able to remove the entire tumor. This was a true miracle! Nick continued his chemotherapy and then six weeks of radiation along with lots of PT and OT. On the day that he rang the bell, he celebrated with family at a Celtics game. During this time, Nick was able to keep up with school with a tutor and attend school when he could. Nick was finally getting back to life.
In March of 2022, Nick went for his six-week post radiation scans where a tumor was spotted in his spine along with three more in his brain. Nick had the tumor in his spine removed and four weeks later it grew back even larger than before. This time the cancer was aggressive. After completing chemotherapy, Nick had a stem cell transplant in hopes of destroying his cancer once and for all. This was not to be, unfortunately. Nick peacefully passed away on May 19, 2023 at the age of 16. The world has lost an extraordinary person whose kindness, positivity and ability to make people laugh were true character strengths.
Germ cell tumors comprise only about three percent of all pediatric central nervous system tumors. They develop from germ cells, which become sperm or eggs. In rare situations, during the fetal period, these cells get trapped in the brain, causing a tumor. They are more common in boys than girls and tend to be diagnosed between the ages of 10-15.