Portland Restaurant Adopting Family Battling Cancer for Christmas

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Pizza Mia in North Portland is helping an employee have a happier Christmas by raising money and toy donations for his 4-year-old-son battling a neuroblastoma

Nick and Ivan McKinney

Nick and Ivan McKinney

When six doctors come in to talk to you, you’re prepared for the worst

Nick McKinney is a loving father who works two jobs in North Portland to help support his family. Nick has two beautiful young children, Ivan and Layla, and he shares custody of them with their mother, Jessica. Nick is a friendly, hard-working young man, who is immediately likeable upon meeting him, and shows little outward sign of the horrible situation his young son and family is going through.

Ivan was born on the 4th of July and he’s four years old. When he was 3, in March of 2016, he was diagnosed with a neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer. The 10-inch tumor began in a gland above his kidney around an artery, and quickly also appeared behind his eyes.

In the last year and a half, Ivan has undergone 8 rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant at OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.

“When six doctors come in to talk to you, you’re prepared for the worst,” Nick says.

Ivan is a happy young man, despite his continuing treatment, and Pizza Mia in North Portland, Nick’s second job, is adopting the family for the holidays.

Michele Derryberry, the General Manager, spearheaded the idea. From now through Christmas, Pizza Mia is accepting donations for the McKinneys. Monetary donations can be made through their GoFundMe campaign listed below, and donations of unwrapped toys and other Christmas items can be dropped off at Pizza Mia.

Says Derryberry, “We love and take care of our employees and consider them our own family. We want to do what we can to make Christmas extra special this year for Nick and his family.”

Pizza Mia is located at 915 N Anchor Way in North Portland and is open 7 days a week now through Christmas.


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Jay Skowron
Hospitality Defender, LLC
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