Nichalos Brown was being picked up after a long day of school. The only thing on his mind at the moment was the heap of homework he had to do that night. A small smile arched across his face when he saw his step-dad in the line, ready to pick him up. He jumped in the front seat. His step-dad said one thing to him that immediately changed the course of his life, and he began to cry.
Brown’s step-dad has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
“I was shocked, scared, and very confused when he first told me,” Brown said. “I cried almost immediately when he told me that day. Nothing prepares you for something like that.”
Brown and his two younger sisters all received the devastating news after school that day . The diagnosis came after his step-dad was admitted into an emergency room due to pains in his lower stomach.
“I knew something had to be wrong with him at first,” Brown said. “I just didn’t think it would be this.”
His mother took time off from work to go to the hospital with his step-dad. Brown says he has missed out on school activities because he has been visiting the hospital.
“I’ve missed some cross-country meets, which I am pretty sad about because I have been practicing for a while,” Brown said. “However, I would much rather be there for my family.”
Brown has begun to use a social media platform Snapchat to ask people for their prayers.
“My family needs all of the help we can get right now,” Brown said. “I am not asking for sympathy, just prayers.”
His step-dad first went to a hospital in Waco, and from there he was diagnosed and referred to a hospital in Dallas. According to Brown, this hospital and the surgeon that will be caring for his step-dad have pioneered a new approach to pancreatic cancer and how it’s dealt with.
“This surgeon is supposedly the best in the state,” Brown said. “The surgery is going to be done mostly with robots. This surgeon is the first one to introduce this type of robotic surgery to Texas.”
Pancreatic cancer doesn’t have a high rate of survival. Despite this fact, Brown says that he plans to be there for his dad every step of the way.
“Pancreatic cancer is deadly, and I realize this. I am not ignoring that fact,” Brown said. “I don’t want my step-dad’s last days to be miserable; I am trying to keep him happy for as long as possible.”
Despite the new challenges in Brown’s life, his friends say he is the same as before he found out the news.
“He is really strong,” senior Jose Sanchez said. “If I were in his shoes, I just don’t know what I would do, to be honest, but I know I wouldn’t be as brave as he is.”
Brown’s step-dad has already began to take the necessary steps to get rid of the cancer. Recently, underwent the first round of chemotherapy. Brown says that it is too early to see the chemo’s affect.
“Since he just had his first round of the therapy, no one can really tell that he has had it yet,” Brown said. “Everything is moving pretty quickly, but I guess that’s what needs to happen when dealing with something as vicious as cancer.”