In recognition of the one-year anniversary of her son’s death, Caryn Franca encourages all of us to “Live Like Nick Did.”
At age 21, Clifton resident Nick Franca passed away on May 1, 2011 after a battle with cancer and six years of treatment.
“In his 21 years he never stopped inspiring people with his courage,” Caryn Franca said. “He never stopped living his life even after what he was going through.”
In honor of Nick and to raise money for families going through what they did, the Franca family held a Memorial Golf Tournament in Nick’s honor on Monday. Nick played golf on the Golf Team.
The event at the was sold out at the beginning of April, in testament to how many had supported the family. The money raised benefitted the Band of Parents and a scholarship set up in Nick’s honor.
The Band of Parents is a nonprofit organization which raises money for treatments for children diagnosed with the childhood cancer neuroblastoma. Nick was diagnosed with the cancer at 15. The money would be used for new treatments at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where Nick was treated.
The tournament will also benefit a scholarship set up by Franca for a student attending Lynchburg College, where Nick attended for 8 months before he had to stop to undergo treatments.
The event included a silent auction and raffle, along with 35 foursomes playing through the 18-hole course.
“We look at it as a day to ‘Live Like Nick Did.’ On the day before his passing, we are doing something positive,” Caryn Franca said. “We are doing what he did, which is to take action and not feel sorry for himself.”
Franca has poured herself into various causes for children struggling with cancer. She has helped make Christmas card for kids who had to be in the hospital on Christmas day and since the start of the year has chaired the golf tournament event.
“The way I approached the disease is just to get outside of our situation and be there for others,” Franca said. “I got outside of myself and Nick always did that too.”
Though the tournament has passed, Franca encourages those who want to support children battling cancers to make a donation through the Band of Parents website.
To support the scholarship, a check can be made payable to Lynchburg
College, 1501 Lakeside Dr. Lynchburg, Va. 24501, attn: Gene Frantz, for the
Nicholas Franca Memorial Scholarship.