Sunday, March 24, 2013

Nick Pantalone

There is never an easy way to write a post like this. Days like these are horrible and there are no words that can describe what this family is suffering through.

This morning at 4:30 a.m. our friend and inspiration Nick Pantalone lost his battle with cancer. His parents say he passed peacefully in his sleep with his family by his side.

Nick was an indescribably amazing person. While battling desmoplastic round cell tumors, Nick was a sophomore at Lebanon Valley College and rarely missed classes. He maintained his own CaringBridge where his posts were uplifting, enlightening and educational. I always felt like I was learning important life lessons reading Nick's blog. 

Even while battling cancer Nick never slowed down or let his diagnosis stand in his way. He was his
high school's valedictorian, student council president, spanish club and drama club vice president, and a ride operator at Hershey Park. I was so overly thrilled to see him running The Comet one day that I visited with the Weinsheimer family that I hopped out of the seat just to run up and give him a hug (and held up the ride). Nick had a passion for roller coasters and dreamed of becoming a theme park manager. 


I have had the pleasure of working with Anna Ungar this year both as a dear friend and as my committee member. She knew Nick very well and had this to say:

I’ve been trying to find the right words to say, but there are no right words when another young person is taken by cancer. Nick was the single most amazing person I’ve ever had the privilege to be friends with. His positivity and warm smile were contagious, and he inspired countless people, some of whom he never even met. Nick completely changed my life in the best way possible. He didn’t let cancer define him, and even though I met him through THON, he was never my friend with cancer – he was just my friend. Cancer took Nick from us far too early, but it will never take away his memory, the inspiration he has given to so many people, or the love his family and friends will always hold in their hearts for him. Throughout his battle with cancer, he always made time for his friends and family, and never lost his positive attitude. Nick’s favorite movie was Meet the Robinsons, and he always told me, “Keep moving forward.” So we will keep moving forward for him, in hopes that one day we will find a cure and no other family will have to go through what Nick’s family is going through right now. Everyone please keep Nick’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. Nick fought hard until the very end, and now we will continue the fight for him. - Anna Ungar via Onward State

Anna has organized a way to support and lift up the Pantalone family during this painful time. She wants to help flood their mailbox with cards and letters of support and love. 

I remember our mailbox was so filled for weeks after losing Jed that reading the mail every day was an event in and of itself. Reading memories and stories was something to treasure.

Please, if you have a moment we would love you to share your stories and memories of Nick for the Pantalone's. If you did not know Nick, we encourage you to send along your words of comfort and love to this incredible family.

Cards and letters can be sent to Savannah Smith at 229 S. Sparks St. APT 24, State College, PA 16801 (please make sure these are double enveloped) and will be forwarded on to the Pantalone family. Please send these as soon as possible!

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