In honor of my 4 year liver transplant anniversary- 9/28/16

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

Parker- 2016

Name: Parker Shaw
Age:  9
Location: San Diego, California

Parker's Story:
Our son Parker was going through chemo fighting stage 4 cancer 
when we met Nick at Rady Children's Hospital. Nick visited Parker 
and gave him a backpack full of goodies that we still have today. 
Parker adores each and every item!

Parker's Relationship with Nick:
It really brightened Parker's days in the hospital having the things
 that "Nick's Pick's" donated and talking to Nick about what he 
did to help pass the time while hospitalized.

 Every little bit helps when these kids are stuck in the hospitals day 
in and day out, and not feeling well. Thank you so much to Nick for always 
being  there for Parker  during some of our biggest struggles!

What are Parker's favorite backpack items?
Parker is trying to do his part by being the face of Childhood Cancer Awareness
Parker really liked the Boogie Board for drawing and the white seal stuffed animal. 
The seal went through many procedures and surgeries with him.

What are Parker's Hobbies?
Typical boy stuff! He has recently finished a season of basketball and now spends most of 
his free time on his new pro scooter or playing Minecraft. 

Nick's thoughts on Parker?
Parker is a great guy! I'm really proud of him for being so strong during his illness. 
He's cheerful and happy inspite of all he's going through. 

Nick's Hero Spotlight: Meet Dr. Ronald Busuttil
In 2012 I had a lifesaving liver transplant at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. 
My surgeon was Dr. Ronald Busuttil, founder of UCLA's liver transplant program. 
Not only is Dr. Busuttil  a world reknowned surgeon, he is also my personal savior and hero. 
Dr. Busuttil  and I have gotten to know each other really well over the last few years. 
H e literally knows me inside and out.  I thought it might be fun for all of you to meet Dr. Busuttil, 
so I interviewed him recently.
Nick and Dr. Busuttil sporting their Hovan sunglasses

Dr. Busuttil, where are you from originally?
Born in Alexandria, Egypt. Moved to US when I was 4 years old

Did you always want to be a surgeon?
Since I was in the 8 th grade

Where did you go to high school?
Jesuit High School, Tampa, FL. 

Did you play a sport?
I was point guard on the Jesuit High School basketball team, also played tennis. I still play tennis, regularly

What are your hobbies? 
Played violin in school. Hobbies include; stamp collecting and auto racing

Can you tell me about your family?
My wonderful wife, Joanne,  and I have been married over 48 years!
I have two daughters, Amber and Ashley. Amber is an attorney and Ashley is a doctor

Nick, Dr. Busuttil and Dr. Thomas Starzl at Dr. Starzl's birthday celbration in Pittburgh,  PA- 2016
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment as a surgeon?
Starting the UCLA Liver Transplant Program in 1983. I have performed over 6,000 liver transplants in children and adults; and have trained over 300 transplant fellows many of whom lead other transplant programs around the world

Future goals?
I plan to continue the present program here at UCLA  and establish a multidisciplinary Transplant Institute here UCLA.  This will be the best in clinical practice, research, and teaching

What's New with Nick's Picks

Summer was especially busy for Nick's Picks. When the school year coming to a close 
 it was time for Nick to make his annual trip to Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. 
 It was also time to deliver more backpacks to Memorial Children's Hospital of South Bend. 
We asked Nick to share his thoughts on Notre Dame, Lacrosse camp and most important 
 Children's Hospital of South Bend.

What's Sout h Bend Like?
It's a great place, the people are really friendly. It was the first place I visited after transplant. 
I loved the Notre Dame campus. It's beautiful and the lacrosse fields are great. During my third year at Coach Corrigan's lacrosse camp, in 2015, I started Nick's Picks at the Memorial Children's Hospital of 
South Bend. I wanted to give something back to the community because of the happy memories I have 
been able to make there, and all of the support I have received.

Who do you spend your days there?
I wake up early and hit the field at 8:00am for the morning session (lacrosse). After lunch it's time for a second session,we have dinner and play lacrosse until 8:00 pm 
free time. I use my free time to explore the campus and visit my favorite spots. I also use this time to go to the hospital and visit the kids.

What is your favorite part of the campus at Notre Dame?
I love the grotto. I always go and light candles for my hospital buddies. I also really like the Golden Dome, which is one of the main buildings. It's very cool the way it glows in the sun. 

What is your s tandout memory from the trip?
Getting to visit with the kids at the hospital and seeing 
Becky Wachs, the Child Life Specialist. She is a really 
great person and very devoted to her job. I really loved 
that the kids I met there were all so cheerful. It's hard to 
be cheerful when your sick. The lacrosse at camp is
great, but the joy I feel in visiting the hospital and making 
a difference for the sick  kids is the best.

What's the best part about coming home?
Sleeping in my own bed and seeing my pup Maverick.

When will you go back?
Next summer, for sure, South Bend and Notre Dame have such a special place in my heart it is 
nice to have an excuse to go back. There will be a lot of shipments of backpacks to the kids  
between now and then!

Nick and Lexie enjoying some of the
Notre Dame scenery
Nick with Becky Wachs from Memorial Children's Hospital of South Bend

Nick's Picks Marriott "Stay-cation" Raffle

Support Nick's Picks this fall and you could win a
"Night away downtown"  in cluding; a o4ne night stay at the Downtown Marriott with 
$100 dinner  gift certificate to the fabulous Marina Kitch en  Restaurant & Bar. 
You will also receive a SkinMedica package of "sun-habilitation" products to 
help you put  y our best face forward! 

Marriott hotel and marina
Marina Kitchen and Restaurant

Raffle tickets are $100 each and are tax deductible, with all proceeds going to Nick's Picks.
One winner will be drawn on October 21, 2016 and streamed live  on F acebook.
Even if you are not the lucky winner, know that your raffle ticket provides two backpacks for
 Nick's Picks to be delivered to a youth  living in hospital isolation.

How do I purchase my ticket?

In the special notes section include your name, phone number and "raffle ticket purchase" 
You will receive an email receipt along with a copy of your raffle ticket! 

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.

Featured Sponsor


Nick's Picks is proud to have San Diego-based Hoven Vision as a sponsor and contributor to Nick's Picks backpacks. When Nick was in the hospital, he quickly realized the value of quality sunglasses when going outdoors after being inside a hospital room for several days. His eyes were not able to handle the bright sunshine! Nick knew he had to add sunglasses to his Nick's Picks backpacks.

Nick reached out to Hoven Vision because they not only provide sunglasses at a great price point, but their sunglasses come in a variety of great styles. "It is important to look cool when you leave your hospital room," said Nick. Hoven Vision stepped up as a sponsor and now places sunglasses in all of the Nick's Picks backbacks.

Headquartered in San Diego, Hoven Vision was founded in 2002, Hoven prides itself on bringing excellent products at compelling price points to passionate professionals and amateurs alike. The sunglasses are now available at over 300 retail locations or on the Hoven Vision website Nick's Picks fans can visit the website and use promotional code "Nickspicks" to receive 20% off any item on the website.

Did you know you can
 donate to Nick's Picks 
thru your purchases on 
AmazonSmile at
 no cost to you?


Our Sponsors



Centers we serve

Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford, Palo Alto, CA

Ronald McDonald 
House  Stanford
Palo Alto, CA

Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC), Orange, CA

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA

Memorial Children's Hospital, South Bend, IN

The Brooklyn Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY

Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

Akron Children's Hospital, Akron, OH

Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego, CA

Ronald McDonald House Charities, San Diego, CA

Kravis Children's Hospital at Mount Sinai, New York, NY