The Teen Who Changed Lives of Kids with Cancer Before He Died of Leukemia


Nick Konkler, a high schooler from Seattle, was one of those students who would rather spend his free time taking wood shop class and get his hands dirty as he learns than play computer games.

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So when he noticed a little girl having a hard time with her IV pole at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, Nick realized he had to do something that will make things for her and all other cancer-stricken kids a little less hard.

Being a cancer patient himself since he was 4, Nick knows how hard it is for these young brave souls to walk with their polls all day, so he decided to build what he called the “lily pads.” Lily pads are a skater-like device that has a certain platform where a child could sit on as their IV poles are pushed.

When he made the pads, Nick was hoping that it would make moving around the hospital easier for the innocent children.




Nick initially planned to make one pad for each kid at the hospital, but the young man never got the chance to make it happen as he died in February last year at the age of 17. Nick has long been stuck in a battle against leukemia and brain tumor.

Classmates and friends of Nick at Auburn Riverside High School are witnesses to the simple selfless acts of Nick. A friend of his said, “No matter what he was doing he always had a smile on his face, always helping people, always looking out for others. And even when it was the hardest time for him and other people could tell, he would always make time for other people.”

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To pay tribute to Nick, the whole Auburn Riverside school gathered to finish the project the kindhearted lad wasn’t able to finish. They painted all the lily pads and delivered them to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.

Christina Konkler, Nick’s mom, said, “I think it’s fun to see the kids ride them, because that’s what he would have wanted. He would have wanted to see all the kids, you know, out of bed walking or riding the lily pad.”

“It just, it makes me so proud of Nick and who he was,” his dad, Vince, continued.

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