MONROE, La. - There are few families who have faced what Nicholas Stewart's family has since 2011.
His mother, Deljorie, found out she, her sister and her mother had breast cancer in the same year.
"My sister found out first and then my mother got her diagnosis a week later," she said.
The three of them were on a mission to beat cancer together.
"We all went to each other's appointments asked questions."
"It's truly a miracle that I still have my mom here and I'm truly thankful and blessed for that," Nicholas said.
However, his mother's sister didn't make it. A year later the cancer spread to her brain and took her life.
"My sister passing was a major blow for me," Deljorie said.
The next year brought even more heartbreaking news.
"A year later my mom passed away as well," she said.
Her mother, Patricia Strawder, passing away making a big impact on her and oldest son Nicholas.
" [It was] a very emotional time but I didn't really deal with it through tears," he said.
He had to deal with it another way.
He used sports as an outlet, but unlike most of his friends, growing up in an area known for football, he fell in love with the game of soccer instead.
"It's a football town you know you wouldn't expect soccer," he said.
"That's all you hear about is football but I think he's going to make soccer stand out," his sister Brianna said.
Standing out on the field and the classroom, he went on to become the valedictorian of Ouachita High School's class of 2018.
Goals the family said were accomplished because of his passion and determination.
"Maybe my mom had a part to play in that as well," Deljorie said.
Nicholas has achieved $30,000 in scholarships from his academics to attend Millsaps College, but with over $20,000 left to pay for tuition each year, they're praying more help will come.
That way they can make sure Nick's dreams keep on kicking, with the voice of his grandmother in his ear.
"She definitely wanted to be here and see me do something that no one in my family has ever done," Nicholas said.
Nicholas plans to play soccer at Millsaps and then have a professional career in soccer.
The Stewart family has started a Gofundme page on Nick's behalf. You can give using the link below:
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