Benefit for area student Saturday

GOWANDA – A teenage boy who enjoys math, lacrosse and is interested in girls, has already battled more than most 14-year-old boys at his age. Nate Walsh of Gowanda has been in remission from cancer for about six months.

Nate was diagnosed with stage 3 Burkitt’s non-Hodgkin Lymphoma last October at age 13. After going in for a biopsy of a tumor, he had complications resulting in an extended hospital stay.

“After going in for a biopsy of the tumor, (Nate) had complications from that and spent many weeks in the hospital; so that caused a lot of expense,” Cathy Walsh, Nate’s mother, said.

Following his stay in Children’s Hospital for the complications, Nate was required to go for treatment for the cancer. His last chemotherapy treatment was in January, according to Cathy. Since his last treatment, Nate has been cancer free.

“He finished treatment on January 10 and goes in every month to see the doctor to see if the cancer is back. There’s no evidence that its been (back),” Cathy said.

Due to the hospitalization and treatments, Nate’s medical bills have totaled $1.6 million. While family insurance is covering most of the cost, the family is still responsible for 10 percent. To help offset costs, the family will host a spaghetti dinner benefit on Saturday. Even though Nate has gone through chemotheraphy, he always had a positive attitude. According to Cathy even when Nate was starting to lose his hair he, along with his sister, would use the fallen hair as fake mustaches.

“He is pretty humble about it. He had a really good attitude about it,” Cathy said.

In the fall, Nate will be a freshman in high school and has not fallen behind in his schooling due to home tutoring while he was in the hospital. He wants to tryout for the football team and currently plays modified lacrosse. He also wants to obtain a Ph.D in math in the future. Nate is also a boy scout with Troop Gowanda 276 and enjoys volunteering and helping others.

The dinner will be held from 4 to 9 p.m. at the American Legion Post 409, 100 Legion Drive, Gowanda. Pre-sale tickets will be available until Wednesday at the price of $8 for adults and $5 for children under age 8. Tickets will be available at the door for $10 for adults and $5 for children. During the event, a silent auction, bake sale and 50/50 drawing will be held. The drawing for the silent auction will be at 8 p.m. and the winner need not be present. The 50/50 drawing will take place between 5:30 and 6 p.m. Monetary contributions can be made at Community Bank in c/o of The Nathaniel Walsh Benefit. For more information, contact Cathy at 241-3021 or Lori Lindquist at 532-4566. Pre-sale tickets are available at the Gowanda Shop N’ Save and at the American Legion.

Comments on this article may be sent to smcdonnell@observertoday.com.