In finishing the book one theme kept coming to me.  Resilience is the difficult calling that  most human beings will face in a life time.

My hope for the reader is to offer glimpses of life in the most dire of circumstances, and to weave the theme of resilience throughout.

The gift of Nick’s life will radiate to all who read his story of attitude, resilience, perseverance and love.

Here is one passage from the book that exemplifies it. Soon to be available on

amazon……… so excited to share with the world!


A New Pair of Shoes

It was a day I had a hard time believing would ever come. Jim and I were driving to Lynchburg College to drop Nick off. Our beautiful boy was going away to school.


As we got ready to leave, I noticed a pile of stuff Nick was leaving behind sitting by my office door. For some reason, I was drawn to the pile of old shoes. Some of those shoes guided Nick up and down First Avenue, leading him to treatments that gave him hope. Some shoes never got worn because he had been too weak to get dressed for long periods of time, and lived in slippers.


At 9am on that day, the Class of 2013 walked on to the beautiful green lawn to be received by the college during the convocation. Again, I noticed the shoes. In the sea of students I spotted Nick…he didn’t have his ratty black flip flops on, he was wearing a shiny new pair of white tennis shoes. The whole thing just struck me — A new pair of shoes for a new chapter in life. 


The convocation speakers spoke of “just doing it” and taking chances, and believing in yourself and persevering when times seem challenging.  I looked at the kids and I thought to myself, No one…not one person sitting here on their first day of college has walked in Nick’s shoes. Maybe some had suffered, had hardship, struggled with disease…I didn’t really know. What I did know was that the message the students all heard on their first morning of college was one Nick had to learn very young. His high school years may not have been normal, he didn’t even attend a good part of the time, but he certainly knew how to “just do it.” He knew how to persevere. 


The speakers went on, talking about the “next four years.” For a brief minute I was caught up in that – I forgot, just for a minute, that we didn’t measure time in years, but in time in-between scans. We lived for short-term goals. The idea of lofty, four-year goals just seemed surreal to me.  And yet Nick sat with the rest of the freshman class, seeing himself in the shoes they described. For one hour, he was just one of the many new students — with a new pair of shoes on, and with new hopes and dreams.