Trace McSorley’s Special Message for a Young PSU Fan Battling Ewings Sarcoma

Late May in Anchorage, Alaska usually means the start of salmon fishing, long summer nights, and endless amounts of outside recreation. Unfortunately for 12 year-old Nic Nelson and his family, it meant the beginning of a tough fight.

Nic had an MRI that showed a tennis ball-size mass on his pelvis bone. The diagnosis was a rare form of cancer called Ewings Sarcoma. Ewings Sarcoma is when cancerous tumors grow in the bone and the surrounding soft tissue. Optimistically, 70% of children with Ewings Sarcoma are cured. But, for Nic to receive the proper treatment, it meant leaving the Last Frontier for Maryland at John Hopkins Hospital.


Nic and his grandfather on October 12th, 2013


Like many of us, Nic comes from a big Penn State family. In fact, the Blue and White run four generations deep. Nic’s first game was the 2013 four-OT, White Out thriller against Michigan. Not a bad first game, Nic, not a bad first game at all.

Since his move to Maryland, Nic has continued to be an avid Penn State football fan. His entire family was excited when former Penn State quarterback, Trace McSorley, was drafted into the NFL by the local Baltimore Ravens. Nic’s mother, Jane Dye Nelson, has always been a huge fan of Trace and so Nic has followed suit. Since then, the Penn State legend has made the final roster cut and will be suiting up every Sunday just minutes away from John Hopkins Hospital. So when Trace was given word from Jane’s sorority sister about Nic’s current battle, McSorley gave the young Penn State fan a personal message:




Although there are no immediate plans to see the Ravens play in person due to the large crowds being dangerous for Nic’s weak immune system, Nic’s family hasn’t ruled it out as they continue to monitor his white blood cell counts.



For now, Nic continues his battle while still trying to be a normal 7th grader, which includes attending class via remote school. He basically is video calling into the classroom while the device is attached to a Segway.Nic’s remarkable story is a reminder to me about how the game of college football can impact so many outside the lines of the game.




If you would like to support Nic’s gofundme, please follow the link here. I would also like to thank Jane Dye Nelson for contributing information and pictures for this column.

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