'Night Out for Nick' to help ease medical costs

LEESBURG, Ga. -- Cancer can be painful, emotionally traumatic and even life-threatening. Even more than that, it's usually expensive.

When 14-year-old Nick Widner of Leesburg was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer most common in adolescents, the Widner family came under the gun financially.

To help with expenses and to raise awareness of osteosarcoma and other childhood diseases, friends of the family and some local businesses have stepped forward to throw a shindig at the Knights of Columbus building at 2009 Gillionville Road in Albany.

According to Alicia Wills, a friend coordinating "Night Out for Nick," the Nov. 3 fundraiser will feature a live band and barbecue with both live and silent auctions. Various prizes include a deep-sea fishing trip, coolers, rifles, deer and quail hunts, a saddle, grill and more.

"Everyone has just been awesome," said Nick's mother, Carmin Widner. "It's really been heart-warming."

According to Carmin Widner, with the chemotherapy Nick undergoes in Atlanta, his prognosis is very good, despite the recent occurrence of cancer in his lungs. While the experience has been hard on the entire family, the teen's spirits remain high. In fact, he wants to "pay it forward" and do something for children who suffer more than he.

"Through the process of his treatments, Nick has made friends with some kids with acute lymphoblastic leukemia," Nick's mother said. "He wants to do something for them. A part of the proceeds of his fundraiser will be donated to those kids. We're calling it 'Nick's Choice.'"

For information about "Night Out for Nick," call Alicia Wills at (229) 886-6424.