HARLINGEN – Just about two weeks ago, friends and family gathered in the Wesley United Methodist Church parking lot. They were adorned in yellow T-shirts and carried signs supporting their friend and classmate Nick Peters.
And there, they slurped on some tropical snow cones as a way to help raise funds for Nick and his family to continue their family battle against cancer.
This morning, in Houston, the 17-year-old lost his 7-year fight with the disease.
“Around 2:19 a.m., Heaven gained another angel,” his parents wrote on Facebook announcing Nick’s death. “While we are sad and wish he was with us, we know he is the lucky one because he gets to be with Jesus.”
Nick, who was a Harlingen High School student, had been battling leukemia since 2009, when he was 10.
He had relapsed twice and the second time promoted a need for a bone marrow transplant in 2015.
His sister was a perfect match.
Nick and his mother Judi moved to Houston at that time and when the complications occurred, father Jeff joined in August.
The transplant was soon after and he was supposed to stay in Houston for 100 days.
But, he was readmitted on July 3. On Aug. 2, he had multiple complications that continued to plague Nick.
While some days seemed better than others, it was a roller coaster ride for Judi and Jeff. On Sept. 27, his family stated he was “doing great considering.”
The next day, Sunday, his parents suggested things were holding steady with his heart rate and respiratory rates.
But, he soon took a turn for the worse
And, on Sept. 30, day 168 of the family’s saga after the bone marrow transplant, the ending seemed near for the teen according to a Facebook post by his parents.
“Today we heard the words no parent should have to hear, ‘We’ve done all we can.’”
Nick appeared ready for whatever was ahead of him.
“About a month ago, he told us he would be going home in October and he is truly home now,” Judi and Jeff stated on Facebook doday. “Thank you for all your support during this difficult time.”
A celebration of life will be held at a later date, according to his family.
43 – Children diagnosed with cancer every day
15,700 – kids each year diagnosed with cancer
1 in 8 – Will not survive
6 – Average age of children diagnosed
60 percent – Of those who survive cancer suffer late effects such as infertility, heart failure and secondary cancers
375,000 – Adult survivors of children’s cancer in the U.S.