FILL THE GAP

We believe that fighting cancer is not only a physical battle but also an emotional battle that can be helped through loving support. Unfortunately, most pediatric cancer support programs age out at 18, leaving a gap for college-aged (18-24) young adults fighting cancer. Nik found this gap and with your help, we can fill it!

Help fund one of our wishes in waiting. We'll keep you up to date on the joy you delivered.

Sydney age 21 from IL
B Cell Lyphoma


 



B Cell Lyphoma



I am a senior in my last semester at college, when I began to get arm pain in my left arm. After seeing multiple doctors and getting what felt like a million tests done, I was finally diagnosed with lymphoma. My life has completely changed. I am back at home taking some classes remotely so that I can try and graduate in May still. But, I'm keeping my spirits high and pushing through. I'm only on the start of my journey but I have received a plethora of support and appreciation already.
What Nik's wish are you thinking about and why?
For my wish, I was thinking of doing a trip somewhere. I love traveling and when covid hit I missed out on the opportunity to visit some really amazing places. I would love the opportunity to travel somewhere interesting and just explore.


 

Samuel age 20 from CT
Lymphoma

Lymphoma


Sam was a healthy young man when he was suddenly diagnosed with cancer in January of 2021. He had a very scary & difficulty first round of chemo where he was in the intensive care unit. He's been adjusting to the new diagnosis but it's been extra challenging due to covid.

Tyler age 23 from MO
Acute Myeloid Leukemia

Acute Myeloid Leukemia


My life before cancer was difficult, but cancer has made it almost...I say almost impossible. Never in my life did I ever think I would ever get cancer. So many emotions came over me in this moment. Fear, Nauseousness, Anger, Depression, and fear again were flowing through my thoughts.
I had moved to Missouri to officially begin my life with Christina. Everything was starting to fall into place. About a month later, life took an unexpected turn. I found out I was going to be a father! This was the most excited that I had been about anything! A few weeks later we found out that we weren't just having one baby but twins! Double the blessing! So now, not only do I have a fiancée, we are going to have twins. I thought my life was finally getting to the perfect place.
I started having health concerns, but said nothing to no one. I was having trouble breathing, constantly being cold, having chest pains, extremely tired and extremely pale. My son Chance and my daughter Scarlett were born. My heart was now full of life and love for my new family. The twins were born at 32 weeks, so they were very premature. I finally went to Urgent Care. The doctor drew my blood to see if that had anything to do with my symptoms. Later that evening, I got a call from the doctor telling me that my blood counts were dangerously low and that I needed to go to the emergency room immediately. Then a few days later it became clear, I had Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).
Help Fund

Zaiah age 20 from CT
Ovarian Cancer


 



Ovarian Cancer


Like most 20 year olds I was in the midst of figuring my life out , living carefree and happy, trying to find a path or a way into adulthood. Working tirelessly as a waitress to try to save for an apartment.   I started having  pain in my stomach and went to the emergency room. Multiple scans and ultrasounds later they finally told me that there is this huge cyst pushing up against my organs.  I had surgery the day before my birthday. I went home with a successful surgery and thought that the huge scar on my stomach was my biggest issue. The doctor had this look in her eye as if something else was wrong and when she asked if my mother could actually come in with me my mind started racing. That is when she both sat us down and told us that  the tumor came back Malignant. I was diagnosed with a rare cancer called Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor of the ovary or an Arrhenoblastoma. Chemotherapy was recommended because of the spillage during the operation. I was trembling tremendously and I never knew that I could even shake that much, let alone feel so frightened.  I would undergo fertility preservation and start three different chemotherapy treatments. Not only did this affect me emotionally but physically it was devastating seeing my body change and having so many different emotions and feelings. I am more than grateful that I am here and had such a great medical team by my side throughout the whole process. I am forever grateful for them, literally they are my angels
 


 

Victoria from IL
Relapsed ALL


 



Acute Lymphoblastic Luekemia



I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, just five days before I was going to be moving into my dorm at Illinois State for what was supposed to be my Freshman year at University. I was very lucky to have been accepted into an open protocol at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. At first, I was scared because I did not know what to expect for me, because I was diagnosed at such a late age compared to all the other patients who had the same type of cancer as me. However, I quickly learned that being at a children’s hospital was the best place to be! Walking from appointment to appointment and hearing the children laugh, and act like children made me forget about why I was really there.
Around the sixth month mark of my treatment, my mom and I decided that it would be really beneficial for me to take some college courses; in hopes of helping me feel like a “normal college student”. While I was not allowed to be in a classroom setting, I did take two online courses. Having other people who were “normal” to be able to have more higher level conversations with was a nice change of pace. After that semester, I decided that taking just two classes did not give me enough of a challenge, so I took a full course load online. I went into the doctor because something felt off within my body; that is when we found out that I have relapsed with my cancer.


 

Gina age 21 from NY
Carcinoma Ex-pleomorphic Adenoma

Carcinoma Ex-pleomorphic Adenoma


Just before I was diagnosed I was just starting my second year of college and working part time. The student health nurse actually pushed me to get checked. After my resection, radiation and chemo I thought I'd be able to get back to school. Except the tumor was found growing again at the base of my skull next to my carotid artery. Now after my second round of chemo and radiation I'm hoping to just get some energy back.
What Nik's wish are you thinking about and why?
Trip to Hawaii to climb a volcano.

Jose from NJ
T-Cell ALL


 



T-Cell ALL



Before being diagnosed I was a nursing student Life was good although tough because of work and school I lived a very hectic life always on the run, I was very active, had friends. I was diagnosed, I was alone and didn’t quite understand what was being said to me , all that was said was “you need to start treatment ASAP” which fortunately I did , at the time I had 60% of my bone marrow Compromised,  I thought I would die that that point I didn’t have much resources and already felt the cancer draining the life out of me. I was admitted to NYU hospital and was able to have treatment, and BOne marrow Transplant, My donor was my mom. I had to learn how to walk again, My friends all disappeared after my diagnosis so you can say Life after my diagnosis has not been easy, it’s hard but I’m alive . I’m grateful yet tired. It's been very overwhelming and challenging for me and my mom. It’s been a long lonely road for me , I am taking it day by day but you never now what to expect having a Transplant comes with its own risk , things I never thought I endured at 22 or 23 .My mom has been my rock even when she wasn’t able to be physically there. This too shall pass I always say during treatment and I’ll continue to say it. I won’t let cancer dictate my life nor the ptsd of it. I’m trying to get back to school, live a life. I need to remember what it feels to be alive and happy. What Nik's wish are you thinking about and why? I wish for a vacation trip lfor me and my mom so that we can relax and enjoy ourselves in peace


 

Joshua age 19 from MI
Ewings Sarcoma Relapse

Ewings Sarcoma Relapse


Josh's back started hurting again and we found that the Ewings returned to his thoracic spine. More surgery, a new chemo protocol and another 6 week stay out in Philadelphia for radiation. We are currently in round 7 of a proposed 14 round protocol this time around. We wanted to reach out to apply for a wish for Josh so that we all had something positive to look forward to. Josh has expressed a desire to visit New York to visit some historical sites. He is a big history buff. He found a speakeasy in New York that existed during prohibition called The Back Room. He talks about it frequently, how interesting it would be and what a unique experience it would be to visit. He also has expressed an interest in seeing the play Hamilton. Our request would be that we could have your help in putting something like this together so that we as a family have a positive experience to look forward to and plan for.

Vanessa age 24 from MA
Colon Cancer

Colon Cancer


Vanessa was just recently diagnosed with colon cancer; she has a genetic condition (familial adenomatous polyposis) and also had medullablastoma as a young child. She was in special education and prior to her diagnosis was active in day program and a work program; she has had to leave all of that behind to treat her new cancer diagnosis. She had a surgical resection and now has an ileostomy and is getting chemotherapy. Her life changed completely and she has struggled to get the confidence to go out and be active again. She has a loving and supportive family. Her mother has quit her job to be caregiver. This diagnosis has been devastating to Vanessa and her whole family; it would be wonderful for them to be able to share something fun together.

Victor age 19 from NJ
Hodgkins Lymphoma

Hodgkins Lymphoma


I was diagnosed for the 2nd time and this time 3rd stage. I want to just get away with my family.

Donalen age 21 from AK
Neuroblastoma

Neuroblastoma


Donalen is a 21 year old newly diagnosed with high risk neuroblastoma. She resides in Alaska with her parents and 2 sisters. They have all had to immediately move here as she receives treatment, and dad is still going back and forth in order to work. They are a very close knit family and draw on each other for support as they navigate this incredibly difficult time. Donalen isn't eligible for a Make a Wish since she was diagnosed at the age of 21. We are hoping you may be able to assist with a wish once she is feeling better and after treatment.


Zandreus from VA
Epithelioid Sarcoma


 



Epithelioid Sarcoma



Before I had cancer, I could walk… I could feed and take care of my animals, I could go to work and clean the churches. I felt free, I loved to walk and feel the wind as I did my lapse around the house. I was carefree and took for granted the idea of getting out of bed on my own, brushing my teeth and using the bathroom on my own.

Now, I'm in a wheelchair and can’t do any of those things without help. I’m not complaining though, there are people who are worse off than me. I just thank God that I'm alive and giving me the strength to fight this battle until the end. I will get better and I won’t give up. God didn’t make a quitter so here we are.

Cancer is not the end for me, only the beginning. Thank you so much for considering me. Yes, life can be hard, but no matter how hard, there’s always something that will make you smile.


 

Joseph from NC
Hodgkin's Lymphoma


 



Hodgkin's Lymphoma



My life before was pretty normal as I went by my every day life going to work part time at Amazon and doing school work all online. I enjoyed playing basketball with friends and hanging out with each other.

After being diagnosed basically everything was put on hold for the most part. Of course I had to take off from work for a while because of my diagnosis. Hopefully I can go back to living my normal life soon and take a break in the summer as I think it is much needed.

I'm thinking of going to see Michael Jordan in person if at all possible. Maybe get him to sign my shoes and a basketball. It would be really cool if we got to play basketball together as well. Also it would be awesome if I got to get a picture with him.

If that doesn't work my back up plan would be to sit courtside of a Lakers game and watch Lebron play and maybe have him sign my shoes or something like that. He's been one of my favorite players for quite a while now so it would be nice to get a picture with him.

 


 

Mason age 19 from AR
Osteosarcoma

Osteosarcoma


My life took a drastic turn when I was diagnosed. It seemed that in a short span of time my life changed. The reality was that I was diagnosed with AML type Leukemia. Adjusting to life with a central line in my chest was not ideal at first. Just imagine having a wire hanging out of your chest and having to take extra precaution to not tear it out by mistake. Before starting treatment I had long hair that nearly reached my shoulders, and a neck-beard that I was very proud of. Now I'm just bald everywhere. When hanging out with friends or family, I felt as if nothing changed. My nephew for the first few months was afraid to even touch me because of all the precautions his parents gave him about my immune system.

Brendan age 21 from TX
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia


Brendan was starting his life when he was diagnosed with leukemia. Even though he is legally an adult, I cannot imagine someone his age going through this without the support of his parents. He was in the "very high risk" category, and chemo didn't work for him. Several nurses have told me that it's much more difficult for young adults to go through this treatment than for the younger children that they usually treat. He was just starting his, and then everything had to be put on hold. It would mean so much to him to be able to take a family vacation to Hawaii. He has always wanted to learn to surf. (Brendan's mom)

Hannah age 19 from IL funded by Plumbers & Pipe Fitters UA Local 23
Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia


I was diagnosed a couple weeks before graduating from high school. I was hoping to get a part time job after graduation and start going to Rock Valley Community College to get my associates degree. Now my life is on hold until I'm well enough to get back to "life.? I am so confused about things right now that I don't know what I want to do. I just wish I knew what it was I wanted to do. I will not be done with all of my treatments for a couple more years so I hope I have time to think carefully about what or where I would like to go. Thank you so much!!!

Emily age 23 from IN
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia


Emily was finishing her freshman year at Southern Illinois University, studying dental hygiene and running cross country and track. She started feeling very tired and achy and went to the health center on campus. She was sent to St. Louis to Barnes Jewish Hospital where she received her first stem cell transplant. After 8 months there she went home to Indianapolis, under the care of Riley Children's where she then relapsed. She had her second stem cell transplant after many failed attempts at other methods. She then relapsed and traveled to Seattle to receive Car T therapy. Currently, she is in remission and trying to gain her strength back. She is currently enrolled in a Health Science program with IUPUI where she is taking classes online. She would enjoy going somewhere that has a lot of sights to see but not requiring a lot of effort to see them.

Jorge from IL
Relapsed AML


 



Relapsed AML




My life was happy fun and I loved to work and spend all the time I can with my son. My life now is a bit sad because i spent a lot of my time in the hospital away from my son and my family I am unable to work at the moment my whole life changed again after being diagnosed again and it’s been a hard journey for me and my son and family.

What Nik's wish are you thinking about and why?

I was looking for something to take my son out somewhere out of state and travel get a way from everything for a little we were supposed to go on vacation for my sons birthday but I was diagnosed 3 days before. I would be more than happy with anything you guys can help me with and very grateful.



 

Lauren age 19 from AL
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia


I was 19 yrs old and about to live my dream to attend the Univ. of AL. The day prior to moving from MN to AL, I began to experience extreme back pain. I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). I feel I have lost everything that I have worked so very hard for. Social media has been a double-edged sword. It allows me to connect with my friends back in MN, but I also see the fun they are experiencing at college. I feel trapped, away from my support system, and isolated inside. My mother and father see this loss and try to keep my eyes forward.

Imani age 21 from MS
ACUTE T Cell Leukemia ALL

ACUTE T Cell Leukemia ALL


I was diagnosed with acute t cell leukemia. I went to the doctor because I thought that I had a cold. But through their tests and scans, I found out I was actually sicker than I thought. A wish provided through this foundation would greatly benefit me and my family by helping me to look beyond my means and beyond my world of needles and getting blood. I feel that it would help me to know that other places exist and thrive.

Mary Kathryn age 20 from AL
Progressive Astrocytomas

Progressive Astrocytomas


During my freshman year of college, I was diagnosed with brain tumors. Due to the location, surgery was not an option. I tried several different chemos, but the tumors were progressively growing and causing paralysis on my right side as well as speech impairment. I resorted to an experimental drug trial. It has been challenging but I am grateful that I have such a loving and supportive family. My wish is to take a vacation to Hawaii with my family and enjoy some stress-free, quality time.

Joseph age 24 from IN
Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

Chronic Myeloid Leukemia

I was a computer engineering student at Purdue University. I was playing all sports at the time such as basketball, baseball, soccer, and volleyball. After the diagnosis of Myeloid Leukemia, I suffered mentally and physically. Reading was completely taken away from me. Until this day my reading is still only a percentage normal reading speed. Engineering classes were way too difficult. Almost all of my muscle was stripped from me. I know that this trip would allow my family a chance to celebrate all I have overcome throughout my cancer and transplant journey.

Katlyn age 20 from CA
Colon Cancer


Colon Cancer


My daughter was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. since then it has been an ongoing fight. She's had two major surgeries, several small procedures, multiple hospital stays and 50+ emergency visits. It has been a devastating and painful ride and I just want her to experience some joy.

Alex age 20 from AL
T-ALL


T-ALL


Alex was diagnosed with T-Cell ALL, at the start of his sophomore year of college at UAB. In a few short days, he went from a college student to a cancer patient at Children's Hospital of Alabama. At the end of his frontline treatment protocol, he developed a systemic fungal infection that led to multiple ICU stays on a ventilator, acute kidney injury, over 100 transfusions for a pulmonary hemorrhage, and moments when he was not expected to survive. He has been through so very much and deserves a trip to celebrate his triumph over leukemia.

Miguel age 20 from IL
Osteosarcoma

Osteosarcoma


I graduated from East Aurora High School where I ran track & cross country since middle school. I started to train for cross country season in college. I noticed a little ball in my left hamstring which was growing. I found out it was a tumor in my left leg, Ewings Sarcoma. From that day on my whole life changed including family and friends around me. I immediately started chemotherapy and had to leave school and running until this nightmare was over. However, I have stayed really positive and strong despite all the tough days that would push me to my limits

Elijah age 24 from IL
Spindle Cell Sarcoma

Spindle Cell Sarcoma


Elijah is very close to his mom, Erma. She has been ill recently and has been in and out of the hospital. Elijah's mom, Erma, is currently in a skilled nursing home receiving therapy to become stronger. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Elijah has not been able to visit his mom in person at the nursing home.
Elijah is now living on his own with limited support. He has been extremely resilient throughout this cancer journey, but a getaway would aid in a necessary mental and emotional re-set.
What Nik's wish are you thinking about and why?
Elijah is wanting to attend a sporting event or would like to travel somewhere.

Amy from CO
Hodgkin's Lymphoma



Hodgkin's Lymphoma



At 22 years old, I was just 3 days away from the start of my final quarter of college and was thrilled to start the next chapter of my life.  I couldn't wait for graduation, all I could think about was how in just three short months I would be off "living my best life"...

That very same day, I noticed a distinct and concerning lumpy area on my neck. It truly did seem to have appeared just overnight. I had a horrible gut feeling something was wrong and immediately went to urgent care. Within a couple of hours, I was admitted to the hospital (due to suspicion of lymphoma). This was not even a possibility in my mind... I didn't know healthy 22-year-olds got cancer.

What Nik's wish are you thinking about and why?

I would love to take a trip, hopefully with my sister Carrie. We havent been able to live life much these past couple of years. I have missed out on so many fun, exciting experiences and I would love to make some new memories with my favorite person.

.

Jackson from AL
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia



Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia



Before I was diagnosed I was a junior in high school and worked at a flower shop. I was just starting to figure out who I was and getting involved with things both at school and outside of school. When I was diagnosed everything stopped. No school, no friends (because I was so sick and immune suppressed). My whole life was either my room or a hospital room. That’s when I found gaming and made so many new friends. Friends that are now some of my best friends and I’ve even been out of state to visit them. Life is getting better, and having cancer has made me a better, stronger, more empathetic person. I’m so close to the end of my treatment and when I was I diagnosed I could not see the end. It’s been the toughest thing I’ve ever had to deal with, but once I get through it, I know I will be a better man and able to help others that are experiencing what I have.
What Nik's wish are you thinking about and why?
Since gaming has been my saving grace, I’d like a gaming computer.

Andrew from IL
Ewing Sarcoma



Ewing Sarcoma




Andy was a young teenager who loved fast cars and loved his horses. We have watched this beautiful boy decline into a shell of the boy we once knew. His light has faded and no longer sees the light at the end of the tunnel. Managing pain and providing love and support for him is what we (his parents ) live for. We helped him buy his dream car and it makes us sad that he can no longer drive it. 

What Nik's wish are you thinking about and why?


He wants to go somewhere warm where he can see the ocean and go swim, go fishing, see the beautiful world.


Zarah
Lymphoma



Lymphoma



I was diagnosed with lymphoma in the middle of my freshman year in college. Being diagnosed and hearing the doctor in the ER say that I have cancer was a scary experience that I couldn't come to terms with for months. Someone so relatively healthy, as I went to the gym a couple of times a week, had a pescetarian diet, and would journal. It felt like my life turned upside down. Through this short period of my life I feel a newfound appreciation to grasp every moment, do everything I can because I have realized life is so short and I don't want to waste even a minute of it.