This is a story of two families, two children with cancer, and ONE unbreakable friendship.
In April 2011, 13-year-old Zach was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. He went through 9 months of chemo and 3 major surgeries. During this time, he was unable to attend school and had to be taught at home. When he returned to school as an 8th grader, there were a few new students.
One of those students was Nick Pinney. Zach and Nick became fast friends, hung out in the same group, and ironically, they had one thing in common…Cancer. Nick’s 15-year-old sister Amanda was diagnosed with Stage 4 Rhabdomyosarcoma in January 2012. As Zach’s hair was growing back, hers was falling out.
There was an unspoken bond between Nick and Zach. Each knew what it really meant to be touched by childhood cancer, both in different ways, both struggling to make sense of it all.
Although Zach was done with treatment, he struggled most of 2012 with trying to get his mobility back. He has a metal implant for his left femur, total knee and tibia. There are few who can truly understand what all of the hospital stays, disappointments, fears, and the anxiety that scans cause during treatment, after treatment…forever really. Those who can truly sympathize are those who unfortunately belong to the Childhood Cancer Club.
Treatment for Amanda was aggressive and lengthy. In October 2012, a scan showed that her cancer was progressing. After suffering a seizure the day after Christmas, they learned the cancer has metastasized in her brain. After 16 rounds of chemo and 45 radiation treatments, including rounds to her brain and lung, Amanda lost her battle on May 18th…5 days before Zach and Nick’s 8th grade graduation.
Both families are bonded for life, and both have decided that it’s time for them to take on the FIGHT to find the Cure for ALL types of childhood cancers. Nick and Zach want to work to raise money for research and for Study Protocols, so that no child, sibling, parent or friend will have to face what Amanda, Zach and Nick have faced in their young lives.
To start, the boys, who attend a school where uniforms are required, have worked to get a dress-down day approved for the end of September. Students will make a $5 donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer in exchange for permission to dress-down that day. Nick and Zach are also encouraging their friends to purchase the ASICS limited edition gold sneakers to wear on the dress-down day. ASICS is donating up to $50,000 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer through sales of the special sneakers.