Making a World of Difference since 2012
Hello Nick’s Picks Family!
After a tremendous journey with a goal to help kids facing a chronic illness as I did from birth, it’s with a somewhat heavy heart that I must announce that Nick’s Picks is coming to an end. It’s been eleven incredible years of putting smiles on kids’ faces and doing whatever we could to help young patients, even if it meant just making one kid’s day better.
I started Nick’s Picks after a friend of mine, Daniel, was diagnosed with cancer. I brought him a “bag of entertainment,” just like what’s in the Nick’s Picks backpacks now. I realized after that that I wanted to try and bring this same joy to as many kids as possible. How hard could that be, right? Pretty difficult, it turned out, but oh so worth it. But, we eventually grew to serve 17 medical centers nationwide!
When we first started Nick’s Picks, I had a few opportunities to go and hand out the Nick’s Picks backpacks in person and see the kids receiving the backpacks. Watching them entertained at the moment was great, but the real highlight for me was getting emails after the fact from the kids. They told me stories about what they did with their backpack items and how it made them feel like they were a normal kid just playing with their parents at home. That, to me, was a mission accomplished.
How did I know these things would work?
Experience. Unfortunately I spent a good amount of my early life in the hospital. I quickly learned how resilient I was, along with the other kids I met needing transplants. We made the best of our situations. When I got my liver transplant eleven years ago, I very vividly remember nearly a whole night where I threw a glow-in-the-dark basketball at a hoop in my ICU room. The meds kept me up, and I’m sure the adrenaline of the whole experience kept my mom awake because every time I missed, she’d get up to grab the ball and hand it back to me for another shot. Don’t worry, I was swishing basically every shot… not.
Lucky for us, there are a whole lot of amazing people in this world, and you’re one of them. That’s why a foundation like Nick’s Picks is so dependent on the kindness of others and the willingness to do something bigger than oneself. Sadly, in the real world, you can’t just snap your fingers and put something into existence.
I would like to give a massive thanks to my family. My mom of course who has been there for me every step of the way, (12 year olds can’t incorporate their own non-profit… so thanks for the help on that one momma). She also helped me through some of my most difficult times of sickness. A once sick kid like myself couldn’t have asked for a better guardian angel than her. It also really helps that she’s a doctor herself, so she was prepared.
Graduating From College and Next Step
I graduated from Chapman University this past May with a degree in Film Production and VFX. I am so stoked to start work in the field and see where this next chapter of life takes me. I’ve found my passion in filmmaking and, more specifically, VFX Artistry and Supervision on film sets. So shameless plug, but if you know anyone that needs some VFX in their movie or TV show, let me know.
Thank you for everything you have done to help me achieve my goal! Although I wish I could do more with Nick’s Picks, it’s time for me to live my life, and as a recent college graduate, I’m pretty poor, so I have two jobs. Not to worry, though. Mom and Dad still provide a roof over my head.
I know we have put a lot of smiles on kids’ faces and supported many families in need. As we close out Nick’s Picks, we will donate the funds remaining in the Foundation to the Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego and the San Diego Ronald McDonald House.
P.S. Here’s a video that I made for y’all.Previous Post