Story of Hope: Nicholas - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Story of Hope: Nicholas

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A Memphis teen has an undeniable talent on the hardwood, but just as his high school basketball career was taking off, he ran into his toughest opponent yet - cancer. 

There didn't seem to be anything that could stop Nicholas. He was a rising basketball star in the State of Tennessee and capturing national attention as well. But in August 2014 after a busy  summer of playing in a summer basketball league, he ran into an opponent unlike anything he had faced before.  "By the end of July, we started to see a decline. He had done a lot of traveling so we chopped it up to traveling" said his mother, Tangela.

Things didn't improve. They only got worse.  A trip to the doctor's office forever changed their lives. "She came back and she had tears in her eyes and that's pretty alarming" said Tangela.  Nicholas was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Nicholas found himself in one of the toughest games of his young career. His shots weren't falling, but he was determined to stay in the game.  There were definitely some rough days during treatment. Nicholas was put on a two and a half year protocol. He had to sit out the basketball season, and watch his team win the state championship, but his teammates came to visit and let him know he was still an important part of the team.  "At first, it was much harder than it is now.  Now I am used to it I know I am going to get back to it" explains Nicholas.

Nicholas's mom says treatments are going well and she stresses St. Jude played a major role in getting them to this point, which is why fundraisers like the St. Jude Dream Home are so important.

"I don't think words can really express how important it is that people support that."

Tangela says they are living Danny Thomas's dream that no child should die in the dawn of life.  "We're living it.  We're living that dream and that vision that no one will be denied based on race, religion, ability to pay.

It costs nearly $2 million dollars a day to operate St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  You can help support Danny Thomas' mission by purchasing a ticket at the Tennessee locations of Regions Bank for a chance to win the St. Jude Dream Home . You can also buy a ticket online and over the phone.  More than 5,300 tickets have already been sold.  If you buy a ticket by June 7th, you will qualify for the Bonus Prize - a seven night stay in a luxurious rental home in Hilton Head, SC, courtesy of Brand Mortgage.

The 2015 Dream Home is in the Castlegate Subdivision off East Brainerd Road just before Publix.  The address is 8225 Knotting Wood Way.  It will be open to the public on weekends beginning May 16.  The Dream Home will be given away June 28th.   
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