Small kid, big heart

Nick Wall of Bri­gus rais­ing money for Terry Fox Foun­da­tion

The Compass - - NEWS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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.

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 hand- ily 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 cap-

I like that he ran for chil­dren with cancer. — Nick Wall

tain 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.

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/The Com­pass

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

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