Nick Wall is a small kid with a big heart

Nicholas Mercer
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Wall raising money for Terry Fox Foundation

The public library in Brigus is a quiet place on July 17.
Some half-dozen books are laid out on a picnic table to the left of the main entrance. They're for sale for 50 cents each.

Nick Wall, of Brigus, is aiming to raise $1,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation this year.

It's a sale that includes some cooking titles and Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife. It is a little rough around the edges, but well worth the price tag.

Just before reaching the main desk, there is a trophy case where a hockey trophy long forgotten rests.

Raelene Wall sits quietly behind her desk, eyes on the computer screen in front of her. She greets every one she sees with a warm smile and friendly hello.

It is not long before Raelene is telling The Compass about the goals her eight-year-old son Nicholas has set for himself. That's who this story is really about.

A piece of paper on the backside of the computer screen on her desk gives the first hint of what Nick is trying to accomplish. It features a photo of Nick holding a sign that reads "Team Nick Wall supports Terry's dream. Somewhere the hurt must stop."

For the past two years, Nick and his family have been raising funds to donate to the Terry Fox Foundation and participating in the annual Terry Fox Run. Since 2012, they have raised some $1,500 in the name of finding a cure for cancer.

"Nick has always loved Terry Fox," said Raelene.

He started small in 2012 with the goal of raising $500.

Nick's team, which also includes Raelene, his father Kevin and sister Kate, reached that handily and turned their focus on $700 for Year 2.

"I'm raising money for Terry," said Nick, a smile creeping across his face and his eyes lighting up.

Heading into this year, that goal has increased again.

"I want to raise $1,000," Nick declared.

Efforts

Nick works tirelessly each year to reach his goals for the Terry Fox Foundation. He attacks it with the youthfulness and exuberance of a child. However, do no let this fool you. Nick is as determined as they come.

He recognizes the meaning behind the foundation and uses it to fuel his passion.

"I like that he ran for children with cancer," said Nick.

It is not just for that reason why he runs. Nick runs for his uncle Ken Skanes and others who have dealt with the hellish disease. It is why he and his father ran the complete distance around Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John's last October.

This year he and his family will sell bracelets - available in white and blueberry blue - to go along with an afternoon tea and a bake sale at the annual Blueberry Festival.

Compass money

These fundraising efforts have morphed from Nick's original plan. A Compass carrier, he had planned to use all of his tips and his commission in his quest.

Raelene quickly changed his plans.

"I said, 'use some of it but not all of it,'" she said.

Parents proud

As Nick answers each question, it is not hard to notice the smile his mother has not been able to wipe from her face. It is not a stretch to say it widens with each answer given by her golden haired son.

He is the youngest Terry Fox Run team captain in the country and Raelene could not be prouder.

Aside from the $1,000 Nick wants to raise, he has another goal for this year - meet Fred Fox, the brother of Terry.

Whether he realizes it or not, Nick has become a role model for others his age. And, it's not just for Terry Fox. It's for donating Valentines every February to husbands and wives who have lost loved ones, amongst other things.

When asked if he hopes other children take up a similar challenge, Nick smiles and shakes his head yes.

That's the kind of kid he is.

nmercer@cbncompass.ca

Organizations: Fox Foundation, The Compass, Year 2

Geographic location: Brigus, Quidi Vidi Lake, St. John's

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  • Sara
    July 27, 2014 - 13:57

    What a sweet kid!!!! I think we can all take a lesson from Nick; adults and children alike. You're a wonderful role model Nick. Best of luck!! :)

  • Heather
    July 23, 2014 - 08:53

    Nick, congratulations on your fundraising and thank you for your passion. The Terry Fox Foundation is very proud of you!