Upcoming Events

Thank you to everyone who attended Nick’s Run to be Healed 5K. It was a beautiful day filled with laughter and families
coming together. 

I come to this event today noting the significance of the miracle that is before me. The first two miracles are my two sons, Nick
and Stephen. I was blessed to have Nick for 13 years and Stephen will be turning 21. I see so many children who have battled
cancer, are currently battling, or are dealing with the secondary effects of their disease. I see families like mine who lost their
child to cancer and are struggling to understand how life can continue without them. It takes so much more than medicine to
heal a child. We want them to lead a fulfilling and healthy life, both physically and emotionally. I remember the first day I met Ali.
We were standing by the elevators of the Melodies Center. His family and one of my friends are close so we made that connection.
Ali showed me the chemo shirt that he was given by another foundation. He only had to unzip it and the nurse had access to his
port. He was so excited by this. Every time I saw him he would make eye contact and greet me by my name with a big smile. Ali’s
family and all the families that take the time from their children’s battle to walk, run, raise money and awareness teach me the
power of miracles and that through
giving back we heal.

 

We are a team that keeps growing. No matter what your child is diagnosed with, it’s that common fear of the unknown that
paralyzes us. The need to know that others have walked in your footsteps and have prevailed makes events like this so powerful.
And to keep growing, to keep bringing support where it is needed most, we branch out and connect with other foundations. Like
Maddie’s Mark, Catie Hoch, Kelsey’s Promise, Nicole’s Hope, Green Drakkoman and Ballsfest. We connected with JP Honsinger’s
family who have teens that want to give back to children with life-threatening illnesses, so they came to our Nick’s Round Table teen
meeting and helped prepare for this run. We are a community of connectors. When one of ours struggles, we band together. So as
we grow and Nick’s Fight ventures into more areas of emotional support like our yoga and writing programs, we will ask others to
take on some of what we have brought to The Melodies Center.                       

 

Our children are at the heart of our mission. Coming together like this with the common goal of healing our children and supporting
their siblings and families emotionally, financially, and socially will not change. It will get stronger and more impactful. Thank you to
everyone who worked so hard for this event. My board of directors, the volunteers, the families, the Town of Clifton Park, the EMS,
police department, fire department, and our sponsors. But I especially thank Ali and his family who have taught me that no matter
where you are, with love, hope and faith, you can get through anything.

 

 

 

2018 Race Results

Stewart's Holiday Match: A Closer Look at Nick's Fight to Be Healed

Each year, Stewart's Holiday Match supports more than 1,000 charities that help children in the Capital Region. This year, Time Warner Cable News chose to highlight some of those charities, putting a face to the countless nickels and dimes collected each year. In Clifton Park, one family's tragedy has given hope to hundreds more. It's Nick's Fight to Be Healed.

CLIFTON PARK, N.Y. -- There are some memories that will never fade away.

"He would often be telling jokes, often at the expense of himself," said Janine De Tillio Cammarata or her son Nick. "He didn't care, because he wanted to have other people laugh."

There is some news that a parent never wants to get.

"He was a healthy 12-year-old boy, a swimmer," Janine said. "He had gotten a rash, started to feel fatigued and tired. He finally got a blood test and he was diagnosed with leukemia on July 4."

Nick Cammarata would spend the summer of 2008 battling the disease at Albany Medical Center -- but there are some fights that, no matter how brave you are, you can't overcome.

"He passed away from complications with the chemotherapy, and that was four months later in October 2008," said Cammarata.

But Nick's fight was far from over. In fact, it was just beginning.

"We had a choice, to do something," Cammarata said. "To make a difference, and to make or change, or not do something and grieve deeper for the rest of our lives."

Nick's family decided to do something, and Nick's Fight to Be Healed was born. The Cammaratas hold events annually, like a huge 5-kilometer run each fall. They use the money raised to provide a first line of comfort to families facing their worst nightmare.

"One of my favorite programs that we do is Nick's comfort bag," Cammarata said. "It shows that someone cares about them. We're thinking about them, and here's something to do in the hospital."

It's almost impossible to name the countless programs Nick's Fight provides, from financial assistance to creating go-bags for families who may be making emergency visits to the hospital. When donations come in, like the ones from Stewart's Holiday Match, they don't stay in the bank long.

"We've helped families that have no heat, because they ran out of oil, couldn't afford to pay for it, and the money that we received from Stewart's has helped to immediately help that family," said Cammarata.

Nick's Fight to Be Healed isn't going anywhere. The Cammaratas' other son, Stephen, is going to school for marketing and has become increasingly involved in the charity as he has gotten older. Until there is a cure, the family's fight will continue.

"I've met with parents, moms, who have lost their children and they are very surprised when I say I have two boys. I do. I'm a mom of two boys; one just doesn't happen to physically be with me," Cammarata said.

Special thanks to photographer Steve Kameka, producers Jim Urso and Dave Nichols for contributing to this report.

To learn more, please visit www.fighttobehealed.org and the Stewart's Holiday Match website.

Originally posted by Barry Wygel of TWCNews.com