In October of 2021, Nick Baeth, devoted husband to Katie and loving father to six-year-old George, was diagnosed with an aggressive stage 4 cancer. As the Baeth's next door neighbor, I can attest to Nick’s passion for life and his family.
The first time I met Nick and his family was in the backyard of my city rowhome in Lancaster City, which is separated only by an antique metal fence from the Baeth’s garden and yard. As neighbors, I’ve had the opportunity to watch the Baeths cultivate their garden, enjoy the scent of fresh herbs and pizza waft into my yard off their grill on summer nights, and delight in the sweet sounds of George’s innocent laugh as he plays into the evening.
When Nick isn’t teaching mathematics at Franklin and Marshall College, he’s more than likely outside hiking, running, biking, camping, or rock climbing. Nick’s adoration for knowledge, the outdoors, and adventuring through life gleams through him.
Nick’s illness began to encumber his active lifestyle in September of this year, but his spirits never outwardly wavered. Four days after Nick began chemotherapy on November 15, 2021, he was admitted to the hospital where a chest CT scan revealed fluid in his lungs. Nick’s cancer has metastasized rapidly in the lungs and has begun affecting his entire body.
On December 1, 2021, Nick’s Foundation Medicine Report revealed a gene mutation which has caused Nick’s cancer to be especially grueling. The gene that keeps cancer from spreading throughout the body has mutated and is no longer functioning properly in Nick.
Nick’s specific treatment plan continues to unfold each day. Currently, Nick has been instructed to wear his oxygen at all times, and he will receive chemotherapy until February. The Baeth’s have appointments this month with specialist from Johns Hopkins and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in New Jersey.
Nick has done nothing wrong, and in fact has done everything right in his life, making this diagnosis that much harder. But his physical health (prior to cancer) and his stubbornness are great strengths in this fight.
The journey to treating the cancer and determining how to maintain a good quality of life for Nick may be uncertain, but it is not unattainable. Your support will help offset medical treatment and travel expenses so that the Baeth’s can concentrate exclusively on getting Nick the best care, while we all come together to defeat this dragon.
“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” – Neil Gaiman