Son’s sacrifice for cancer-stricken grandfather shocks family

October 6, 2014 By and    
Nate Stoltman

Nate Stoltman shocked his family when he volunteered to have his head shaved at a charity event to raise awareness and funds to fight cancer.

There are very few things our 11-year-old son, Nate, doesn’t like. He’s an easy-going kid, happy doing just about anything. There’s only one thing he always fights: haircuts. He hates to have his hair cut like nothing else.

That’s why we were shocked when Nate came home from school in March and informed us he’d volunteered to have his head shaved at a charity event called St. Baldrick’s to raise awareness and funds to fight cancer.

Nate doesn’t have much to give. At the first opportunity, he gave — for grandpa Joe (aka GoGo), my father-in-law.

After spending a month in the hospital, last March GoGo was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphona. We told our three kids, “GoGo is very sick. He has a disease in his blood.”

We didn’t want to use the “C” word around our kids. We didn’t want to scare any of them, especially Nate. GoGo’s especially close to Nate, his first grandchild. GoGo lives out of town, but is very much a part of Nate’s regular life. He calls Nate every day. Every day.

Nate’s about-face on haircuts taught us parents a few things: He knows more than we think he knows; he lets us live in our fantasy world, where we think he doesn’t; and his heart is every bit as big as we suspected.

Nate Stoltman

Nate Stoltman’s beloved grandfather was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphona this year.

GoGo is in remission and doing well. He went from being hospitalized for months, enduring several rounds of chemo, to playing several rounds of golf — four days in a row recently. My dad, who battled prostate cancer years ago, also continues to be a regular on the course as well, at 81.

At North Coast Media, we’re doing our part to give back by donating a portion of our revenue this month to cancer research. It’s a new initiative we plan on doing every October because, the way we see it, it’s our turn to give.

Photos: Kevin Stoltman

Kevin Stoltman is president and CEO of North Coast Media, parent company of LP Gas magazine.


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