There is a word that no human being ever wants to hear. For parents, it's a word that you don't ever expect to hear in the same sentence with your child's name; a word that brings a very painful challenge that no parent or child should ever have to endure.
On March 12, 2013, our 4-year-old son Nicolas "Nick" Diaz was diagnosed with Cancer. The word Cancer alone brings so much fear and pain that for a family with no prior history of cancer with any family member, Nick's cancer diagnosis was needless to say very unexpected and shocking.
Nick was diagnosed with Burkitt's Lymphoma. Chemotherapy began immediately. We expected for the treatment plan to last 6 months and with the studies and results of Burkitt 's Lymphoma, our chances for victory were high. To our misfortune, that was not the case. After the 6 months of treatment were completed and Nick had even reached remission stage, as we began the maintenance cycle of his treatment, a tumor behind his right ear grew out of nowhere. At that moment, it was like starting all over again and having to come with a new plan that involved Radiation treatment to the brain and spine and also an unexpected Ommaya Reservoir placement at the top of his head so that chemo can be dispensed directly to his brain. Doctors did not expect for Nick to reach his 5th birthday but he fought hard. He fought long and hard! We celebrated Nick's 5th birthday in December in a PICU room. He was not the normal happy he always was but he sure did enjoy what would be his last birthday cake. On December 20, 10 days after his 5th birthday, we lost our battle to cancer. We lost our little boy!
Nick battled his cancer for a total of 9 months. Despite what he endured, Nick showed what a true fighter he was by still enjoying the things he loved to do which was dance and sing. Nick showed and expressed love and kindness to his parents, his sister, his family, doctors, nurses and everyone who came in contact with him. Cancer may have taken his life but it did not take away his smile, his joy, his upbeat spirit.
Nick is now at peace and he serves a much bigger purpose from heaven, but for us the task of honoring his memory is just getting started. I have decided to start the Nicolas Diaz Foundation with the mission to raise awareness in the need for Blood Donations as well as helping kids going through treatment have a less painful experience throughout. Nick loved to play games, loved to sing and dance and most of all loved to smile. That same smile is what we want to see on more children who are touched by cancer. Through Nick's foundation we will work towards that goal.