Nicholas's Dream

Meet Nicholas

Meet Nicholas, the most positive and astounding young man you will meet! Nicholas loves to sweat and to compete in his favorite sport, tennis. His goal was to play D1 tennis in college, but his pursuit came to a halt a few weeks after high school graduation.

After noticing spots on his stomach, Nicholas was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, a rare type of cancer that affects his bone marrow and blood. Nicholas continues to overcome inpatient chemotherapy cycles, where he stays for one month at a time to receive care and to recover.

Through everything, Nicholas has maintained his mental strength and positivity. He encourages those around him, posting positive quotes on his door every day. He continues to impact others and wants to continue that after he graduates college. Once he is in remission and released, Nicholas is committed to pursuing his goal of playing D1 tennis in college.

We are so excited to make Nicholas’s sports dream come true, so he can see the athletes that continue to inspire him!

Nicholas's Dream

We surprised Dream Recipient, Nicholas, at his home bright and early to let him know that his tennis Dream was starting now! After a quick huddle, they set off for the airport to fly from Georgia to California. Once we landed, our first stop was Eureka! for lunch. After the early morning, time change, and time difference everyone was ready for a good meal. Eureka! was the perfect place to do that.

We checked into our hotel, the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, where we received a very warm welcome! They had special snacks waiting in the rooms and provided unlimited play cards for the arcade. Nicholas and his family are all very athletic and competitive, so the hotel also set us up with a tee time to play golf at the resort’s course! We had a great time playing together. Our first day wrapped up with a delicious dinner at Rockwood Grill where we got an amazing view of the sunset!

Day two for Nicholas started off with playing a little tennis with his parents. Even on vacation he wanted to make sure he got some practice in.

We headed over to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden to get ready to watch several matches of the BNP Paribas Open. Thanks to The Desert Championship committee, we had tickets to watch on a few different courts in the morning. First though we hit the pro shop to make sure Nicholas could have a few things to take home as souvenirs!

After watching our first few matches, we took a break to eat lunch and get ready for our meet and greet with Stefanos Tsitsipas! Nicholas was so excited and the entire family really enjoyed getting the opportunity to meet him. Tsitsipas is one of Nicholas’ top players and it was a special moment getting an opportunity to talk with him one on one. We are so thankful that he was able to find time in his tournament schedule to meet with us! He even signed a tennis ball for Nicholas to take home.

Then we headed back to watch one of the best matches of the day, Novak Djokovic and Luca Nardi! It was a real back and forth battle between the two of them, but the underdog, Nardi, came out on top. Nicholas had a great time though getting to watch Djokovic play as he’s another one of his favorite players.

Day three was another full day of tennis for Nicholas and the Dream Team!

We kicked off the day with a behind the scenes tour of the Indian Wells Tennis Garden from Desert Champions staff member, Rolf Hoehn. He told us all about the BNP Paribas Open and what makes it unique compared to other tournaments. After that, we headed over to watch our first match of the day, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Jiri Lehecka. Tsitsipas had invited Nicholas and his brother as special guests for his match, which was incredibly kind of him!

Having watched so many incredible matches, the Dream Team decided they wanted to have a little competition of their own in the afternoon. They headed back to the hotel to play pickleball, which was so much fun for everyone! Then it was back to Indian Wells for more incredible tennis because Nicholas was invited to do the coin toss before the match between Ben Shelton and Jannik Sinner! It’s an experience that the family will remember forever. Nicholas was announced to the crowd and handled the coin toss like a pro!

Day four was our last day with Nicholas in California at the BNP Paribas Open. The day started with a little more tennis for Nicholas. He had the opportunity to play with a semi-pro player on the grass court and had a great time! Then we headed back over to the Indian Wells Tennis Garden to watch a few more matches. Thank you so much to the Desert Champions Committee who helped make our visits to tournament so special!

Before heading to dinner we decided to go on a hike of The Cross Trail Loop. It had amazing views of Palm Springs and was the perfect way to end our trip! Nicholas and his family have had an incredible time all week and it’ll be an experience they’ll remember forever!

Dream Snapshots