13-Year-Old Liver Transplant Recipient Needs President Obama’s Help

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Nick Wallace knows what it takes to beat a chronic illness, and wants to help kids in a similar situation continue their fight. Since recently launching Nick's Picks, an organization dedicated to helping kids find peace and comfort during their battle with chronic illness, he wants to improve organ donation and plans to propose a new law to President Obama.

Nicholas Wallace received a new liver in September 2012 after a long battle with Biliary Atresia, a pediatric liver disease. Having spent a considerable amount of time in the hospital waiting for a new liver, he has special knowledge of what it takes to stay positive. The 13-year-old liver transplant recipient has now created an organization called Nick’s Picks to help kids facing a similar battle by providing them with a backpack of items that helped him conquer one day at a time.

Nick’s first surgery was at three and a half weeks. Today, he plays as a defenseman on a local Adrenaline lacrosse team in addition to chasing down everything life has to offer a 13-year-old boy. Despite the long and taxing battle to keep his liver healthy, Nick maintained the drive of an active and growing young man during his time in the hospital. In addition to the support he received from a community that continues to rally around him, he says there were a number of items that kept him busy and active and looking forward to each day. Nick was compelled to create Nick’s Picks because of this experience, as a way to help other kids battling chronic illness stay positive.

His ambitious drive hasn’t stopped there, however. Nick will now turn his attention to a radical new approach to organ donation: an idea he hopes to discuss with President Obama. In a letter that was recently hand-delivered to the President, Nick proposes a new law that would change organ donation to an opt-out choice, which is successful in many countries in Europe. In the organ donation letter to President Obama, Nick explains his desire to discuss this change in policy is rooted in his experiences at the hospital and his lengthy battle with Biliary Atresia.

When asked what would it mean to him to be able to discuss this idea with President Obama, Nick replied: “It would mean an indescribable amount to me to talk to President Obama, but would mean even more to other people who still need their lives saved.”

Nick went on to provide some insights as to how he would initiate the conversation with the President: “The first thing I would say to him is that I am so grateful that I get to be here and speak with you, and I pray that I will get to change this - and history - with you, and that our conversation will change the future for others. I don’t want to have so many people wait and suffer. I know what that is like.”

For more information about Nick and how to support kids battling chronic illnesses, visit http://www.nickspicks.org.

About Nick Wallace and Nick’s Picks
After battling Biliary Atresia for most of his life, Nicholas Wallace received a new liver on September 28, 2012. During his time in the hospital receiving treatments to help him fight the pediatric liver disease, Nick came up with the idea for Nick’s Picks, an organization to help other kids with their fight against chronic illness. To start, Nick’s Picks raises money to fill backpacks with items Nick loved while he was in the hospital. Nick, a master at entertaining himself in the hospital, is determined to improve the hospital experience for kids with chronic illness or an isolation. Read Nick’s Picks Blog for the latest news with Nick’s adventures.

To make a donation or sponsor a backpack for a hospitalized child, or for more information, Nick can be contacted through the Nick’s Picks website at info(at)nickspicks(dot)org.

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