Josh Nichols, now 25, remembers a two-year struggle to find a diagnosis for the fevers, sweats and body aches he experienced as a young teen. During the search for answers, Josh continued to follow his passion and play football. When Josh and his family ultimately turned to Nemours Children’s Health, Jacksonville and Michael J. Joyce, MD, PhD., they discovered he had stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Eight months of chemotherapy followed, and Josh responded well. His father, Chuck, relates, “Josh never missed a football season, despite everything he was going through. That next season, Josh helped lead his team to victory in their state championship. And he won a scholarship to play football for Jacksonville University.”
In Josh’s experience, the worst things about having cancer were the limitations it put on his body and the way people looked at him when they learned he was sick. “I just wanted to be a regular high school student and didn’t want people to feel sorry for me,” recalls Josh.
The Nichols family was so appreciative of Josh’s care that they decided to generously invest in the Hand in Hand Campaign to support the Nemours Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders). The ongoing campaign is raising funds to help improve the outcomes and experiences of other kids with cancer.