First responders and community rally around 12-year-old boy with rare cancer

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ANDERSON COUNTY, SC (WSPA)–An Anderson County family and the community are seeking your support and prayers, as a 12-year-old boy battles a rare form of liver cancer.

Nick Reid was diagnosed nearly three weeks ago. Reid’s family said it all started with a stomach pain a month ago. Now, the cancer has spread to both sides of Reid’s liver, lymph nodes and blood stream.

“It’s just been a downhill journey since then. We’ve been to Charleston with him and the doctors said it’s spreading to both sides of his liver. It’s in his lymph nodes. It’s gotten into his main blood stream which runs all the way to his heart. Chemotherapy really doesn’t, really wouldn’t effect treatment wise,” said Zack Reid, Nick’s father.

“There’s nothing that they can do at this point,” said Melissa Reid, Nick’s Mom. “We can just make him comfortable and make as many memories as we can.”

“When we got the news that Nick was getting sick, no child should ever have to do that alone. So, we started a campaign to kind of show Nick there’s support out there through the fire departments,” said Ryan Herring, Rescue Captain at Anderson City Fire Department.

A number of agencies across the Upstate, and country, have been showing support.

“As his sicknesses continued, Nick has started to get a little bit weaker, so we really wanted to reach out to the fire departments and make him their fifth rider for the day. Most fire departments run a four-person engine company or a truck company, so putting his name on the duty roster, on a helmet, an accountability tag, just showing the family that there is support out there, that people are thinking of Nick,” Herring said.

“We’ve had fire departments from the local level, Hopewell Fire and Rescue out of Anderson County, West Pelzer Fire Department, Gantt Fire Department out of Greenville, Life Flight have all done something to show support for Nick–either has flown a helmet in the helicopter with his name on it, has put him on the duty roster. He’s even made it all the way up to the FDNY in the Bronx, where he was on the night roster last night,” Herring said.

“It’s an honor what they’re doing for him,” Zack said. “We can’t express our gratitude enough from the men and women of these services, that take time out of their day to support him. It means a lot to him.”

“Nick always wanted to be a fireman,” Melissa said.

The family said Nick wants to follow his dad’s footsteps.

“I joined the rescue team about five years ago and become a diver for Anderson County as well. And we would go to trainings and calls, just different scenarios and he would ride with me a lot of times,” Zack said. “That’s what interested him or perk up every time my pager would go off. His ears always perked up, anytime he seen a fire truck, he always made sure he pointed it out no matter where we were.”

“As a father, I couldn’t imagine what they’re going through. Really don’t want to imagine what they’re going through, but it does kind of hit. Nick does call me Uncle Ryan. Me and his father has had a friendship for several years. He has been friends with my children. I have a son that’s two years younger than him. Nick has spent the night at the house. He has been on calls with us during the night and on the weekends. So, it’s a real hard hit for the whole team as well, because everybody knows Nick and likes Nick,” Herring said.

The family is now cherishing those memories, and leaning on prayers, while sending a message.

“Never take life for granted. We’re not promised tomorrow,” Zack said.

“He got took quick. He’s being take quick and we want them to cherish your loved ones, no matter if it’s your child, if it’s your parents,” Melissa and Zack both said.

They’re also hopeful Nick’s story will lead to a cure, and inspire more people.

“We just want to let everybody know that they’re not alone,” Zack said.

“We want Nick’s story to hopefully, get someone–push them to find a cure, because no child should go through this. No child should have to go through this. No sibling should have to go through this and no parent should have to go through this,” Melissa said.

The Anderson Technical Rescue Team is asking more departments to post pictures on social media, in support of Nick. Anyone can show support by using #battlewithNick.

You can also support the family with donations. To see how you can assist, email the family at

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