ASK Kid Nikolas was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) at the age of nine and spent five challenging months in the hospital, enduring intensive chemotherapy. Despite the isolation from friends and the uncertainty that shadowed his days, he found a beacon of support in Amy Fender, ASK Education Support Navigator. She helped him navigate the complexities of hospital life, offering educational materials and companionship during his treatment, ensuring he didn't lose hope or fall behind in his studies.
Recently, Nikolas and Amy Fender had the opportunity to share Nikolas's inspiring story with WDBJ7 Morning and Noon Anchor Kimberly McBroom, where Nikolas recounted his battle with cancer and the crucial role Amy Fender played in his education and emotional well-being.
To see the very precocious nine-year-old Nikolas Pakkidis, you’d never know that he’s already fought the battle of his life.
“I wouldn’t eat. I wouldn’t drink. I wouldn’t do anything. I was nauseous all the time, and it got to the point where they had to take me to the emergency room,” says Nikolas.
“He was much more weak, not very talkative, and I kind of just wanted them to see my face, know that I was there when it was time to transition back to school,” says ASK Education Support Navigator, Amy Fender.
Fender helped Nikolas keep up with his schoolwork, while he was in the hospital. Now, Nikolas is back to school one day a week.
“The normalcy is so important, like with Nicholas, he only goes once a week. But he can build up. He gets to see his friends. He can kind of get used to the idea of going back, and go back at his own pace,” says Fender.
Through his words, Nikolas's courage and resilience shone brightly throughout the interview, touching viewers' hearts across the region. As his story inspires hope and awareness, Nikolas and his family remain dedicated advocates for pediatric cancer patients and survivors, exemplifying the power of community and compassion in overcoming life's greatest challenges.
Want to learn more about ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation and how you can help support children like Nikolas and their families battling cancer across the Commonwealth? Get Involved today!