"Play In The Game Of Life"

Nick's Picks Newsletter #3 | April 2016

Nick's Picks VIP for April 
(Very Important Patient)  


Name: Chelsea Wheeler

Age:  13
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

My original diagnosis, which led me to needing a transplant, was chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction. I got my multi-visceral transplant on September 18th, 2015 and have been in patient in the hospital ever since.

I met Nick when he came to Pittsburgh for Dr. Starzl's birthday celebration. He came to UPMC to deliver Nick's Picks backpacks and meet all of us. I am really impressed with the work Nick is doing.

My favorite item in the nicks picks bag is the NO BUTTON. I like to use it on the physical and occupational therapist a lot!


Some of my favorite things to do in and out of the hospital are arts and crafts and music!
I really enjoy playing my ukulele here with the music therapist and singing along too. At home I love to play with my siblings and dog which I miss doing quite a bit.

Chelsea is a glass half full kind of person. She is far from her home in Connecticut, where her dad and four siblings are. She's dealing with more than you can imagine, but still, has an extremely bubbly personality; you can't help but feel positive around her. She had a four organ transplant and is now fighting cancer. And even in the unbelievably hard times, she visits others and cares about their happiness.

To learn more about Chelsea follow her on Facebook Like us on Facebook

Nick's Picks now serving Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

In March I had the honor of being invited to Dr. Thomas Starzl's 90th birthday party. The celebration took place in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Dr. Starzl performed the first successful liver transplant in 1967.

Dr. Starzl has also trained some of the worlds best transplant surgeons including Ronald Busuttil, M.D. who performed my transplant in 2012.

Dr Starzl is not only the father of liver transplantation but he is also a savior to me; he ultimately saved my life and the lives of so many like me. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet Dr. Starzl in 2013 after my transplant. This was one of the highlights of my life! 

To learn more about Dr. Starzl and his amazing career click here!

Nick with Dr. Busuttil
Nick with Dr. Thomas Starzl and Dr. Ronald Busuttil

The March trip to Pittsburgh also marked my first delivery to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). I was able to visit and delivery backpacks to the transplant kids in the ICU.
The kids loved seeing what the backpacks look like and getting to play with the stuff inside. It was a really memorable experience. I made some great new friends and I look forward to making more deliveries in the future!

Nick with UPMC Child Life Specialists Jessica and Sarah
Nick with a Pittsburgh biliary atresia transplant pal, Lucas

Nick's Picks Featured Sponsor: Geppettos

Geppettos has been a San Diego tradition for over 40 years, and a sponsor of Nick's Picks since 2012. Owned and operated by Brian Miller and his family, Geppettos has 9 award-winning store locations in San Diego County, offering inspired play for kids of all ages!  

Nick with Brian Miller and family

Geppettos has generously contributed to Nick's Picks by supplying the Nick's Picks backpacks with several of Nick's favorite items including the Rubix Twist, Mad Libs, Yomega Yoyos and the most recent addition to the backpacks, the art sets. Brian Miller and his family often hand-deliver the items to Nick, creating an extra special relationship between Nick and Geppettos.

When Nick decided to add art sets to the backpacks last year, Geppettos immediately stepped up with ideas for compact art kits. They are now included in all of the new girls' backpacks.
I've never written a check so big. 
 Thank goodness for their generosity.
Nick stocking up on supplies


"Geppettos was one of my first supporters when I founded Nick's Picks, and I cannot thank Brian and his team enough for their continued support," said Nick. "When I was little, Geppettos was one of my favorite places to visit, and I think it is pretty cool that they provide my hospitalized friends with a few of my all-time favorite toys."  Thanks Geppettos!

Del Mar Heights Elementary supports
Nick's Picks with school-wide fundraiser

Del Mar Heights second graders Bake Sale to support
Nick's Picks

Nick's Picks recently partnered with Del Mar Heights Elementary to get more backpacks to the kids that need them.

The Del Mar Heights 2nd grade class kicked off school-wide fundraising effort making goods and organized a bake sale after school. The rest of the school then got involved. Generously, their P.T.A. offered to match all raised funds.

Nick and this sister/co-founder Lexie at Del Mar Heights Elementary with Principal Wendy Wardlow and some of the students who helped sponsor 47 backpacks


Del Mar Heights fundraising effort's were an enormous success. Thanks to Principal Wendy Wardlow, her staff and the awesome students and P.T.A., enough money was raised nearly $2400.00, to provide 47 Nick's Picks filled backpacks for hospitalized, isolated kids.
A HUGE THANK YOU to Del Mar Heights Elementary!!!
Nick Pick's at the Pacific Coast Lacrosse Shootout
Nick with Notre Dame Men's Lacrosse Coach Kevin Corrigan
Nick on the field with his Fighting Irish

"When Nick's Picks was invited to have a booth at the Pacific Coast Shootout in Orange County, CA in March, it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up. My favorite college team, Notre Dame (Go Irish!!), was scheduled to play against Maryland.
The tournament gave me the chance to hang out with one of my mentors, coach Kevin Corrigan from Notre Dame and watch some great lacrosse.
Notre Dame had a BIG 9-4 WIN over Maryland!
Thanks to everyone's support and generosity, our booth raised enough money for several more backpacks!" -- Nick Wallace, CEO (Chief Entertainment Officer) of Nick's Picks

Nick's Picks Founder 
Nick Wallace & his mom, Dr. Deborah Atkin 
Nick's Picks is a 501c3 charity established by liver transplant recipient Nick Wallace in 2012. It exists to support hospitalized children with serious, chronic illnesses and isolation. 
The charity's focus is to provide backpacks loaded with the items Nick found most useful, fun and comforting to children hospitalized and often living in isolation - in an effort to raise their spirits and keep them engaged through activities. Through our efforts we also hope to offer a sense of comfort and support to these children and their families.  
Our greatest hope is to create an epidemic of compassion and giving, inspiring others to make a difference in the world around them, through caring, and assistance to young community members in need.

Did you know you can donate to Nick's Picks thru your purchases on AmazonSmile?
Log in and select Nick's Picks as your charity of choice and we will 
receive a donation
 every time you shop, at no cost to you!


You can now support Nick's Picks through iGive!

Go to iGive.com and sign up, then designate Nick's Picks as your cause of choice. You only have
 to choose once and a portion of your purchases will go to provide backpacks for hospitalized youths. A great way to give, at no cost to you!

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