To many, our Dad is known as charismatic, outgoing, and a spunky guy who will give you his shirt off his back even if he has nothing of his own to replace it. A man that came to this country with nothing, and started his own business to support his family. A man who has spent almost 40 years of his life working every day and night landscaping yards all around the east bay and making friends a long the way. One of those guys who when his name mentioned, you always hear; “Oh you know Nick?! What a wonderful character! He helped us with….”. A man that is known in the Greek Community as “The Cretan” because of his big moustache and even bigger personality.
To us, his 3 daughters, he is our amazing Dad or “Baba”. He has taught us about hard work and determination, and he always went the extra mile to make sure we had what we needed throughout our childhood.
Unfortunately, Cancer chose him earlier this year. Being self-employed and now unable to work, he is now in a position where medical costs, mortgage payments, and bills are piling up and adding additional stress on his health. Uncertainty weighs heavy on him and his entire family as we all struggle to get through each day, week, and month. With that being said, with humility and grace, we ask who my father has helped, inspired, delighted, or made smile to help our family financially in this difficult time.
Our Dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 Renal Cell Carcinoma (aka Kidney Cancer) in March 2017. It took an exhausting and scary few months to determine what was causing all the debilitating symptoms (weakness, uncontrollable cough, stomach pain, etc… ). The ultimate diagnosis was that he had an enormous mass (12 cm x 8 cm) engulfing his left kidney and attaching to his intestinal wall. This past Summer he underwent a successful Radical Nephrectomy (removal) of his left kidney and subsequent removal of 6 inches of his bowels. Nick recovered from the surgery and was able to walk his daughter Dena down the aisle on her wedding day on June 10th. What an emotional moment for us all! Unfortunately, in additional scans the following week, we found out the cancer had metastasized and has spread beyond his kidney and into his left lung. It was devastating news. Of course, our thought was to have another surgery again to remove the new lung tumor. It was growing rapidly and we were concerned that it would spread into his bones and other organs. As we prepared for another surgery, we received more bad news. The week before the scheduled surgery, our Nick began to throw up blood and was rushed to the ER. Through CT scans, we found a large blood clot and tumor embolism in his right lung. Due to the blood clot and tumor embolism in his right lung, it would be fatal to now attempt a surgery as both lungs are at risk. The tumor in his lung has now grown, as well as the blood clot and tumor emboli. We have now reached the point of immunotherapy (Systemic IV Treatment; similar to chemo), which my father has been undergoing now for a few months with no improvements.
Through all these hurdles my father's spirit has remained strong, but his energy and physical strength are in a downward spiral. His deteriorating health and energy levels make working difficult on most days and impossible on others. With very little income and a monthly mortgage payment and medical bills, we must make some difficult decisions. Nick must sell the business he built over 40 years, as well as the home in which he raised three beautiful daughters.
With Winter in front of us, no offers on the business and home, and our father no longer able to work, financial support is needed to get our mother and father through this difficult time. It breaks our heart to see our father deteriorate as he is someone who has given money, fed, and provided those in need with shelter, safety, and comfort over these years. The financial struggles currently and continue to come are real for our family now, with his treatments in process, and as much pride that our family holds, we cannot do this alone.
We now ask for help during this holiday season to help with the overwhelming financial burdens as he can no longer work. The money donated will go to his medical bills, mortgage payments, utilities, food, and treatments needed to help him fight his stage 4 cancer! If your own personal situation would make it difficult to donate funds, we ask for your prayer that God will continue to provide and that you help us spread this donation message on your social feed to drive awareness. If your own financial security allows you to help, we ask that you donate what you can to help Nick and his family through this difficult time. Thank you for reading this and we appreciate your support and love from the bottom of our hearts.
Christina, Dena, and Denise (Damanakis Daughters)
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