The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, March 18, 2005


Nick Ressler Memorial Scholarship Fund honors young Concord student

Nick Ressler in 2000. (Courtesy photo)

The Nick Ressler Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established to honor the memory of an eighth-grade student from Concord who died from bile duct cancer on April 9, 2001. The fund is being introduced in 2005 because his class is graduating this year from CCHS. Nick's parents, Paul and Pam Ressler, are hoping that in this way, Nick will be "present" at the graduation. In addition to money donated by the Resslers, the fund includes donations made over the years by Nick's friends to honor various occasions. Those who knew Nick or know his family and would like to honor Nick's memory by contributing to the fund in his name can do so at this time. When the amount in individual-named funds grows, more scholarships can be awarded in that person's name.

Nick Ressler was a student at Sanborn Middle School when he became ill. Though he missed school occasionally throughout the fall of 2000, Nick kept such a positive attitude and such determination throughout his illness that his friends were stunned by his death. What happened leading up to and following his death is a beautiful example of how a community can pull together and make a tribute to the spirit of this young man.

Nick was a musician, athlete and dedicated student. His parents refer to him as "a true Renaissance kid." He lived as fully as he could for the short time he was on this earth. His mother Pam points out, "We don't have a choice with how long we live, but we do have a choice with how we live. I think he taught us more than we ever taught him."

Nick insisted on attending school as much as possible throughout his radiation treatments. Medical professionals from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) worked with the team at Emerson Hospital so that his treatments could be arranged around his school schedule. Nick would start each day with a treatment and then go to school and than back to Emerson for a second treatment at the end of his school day. When he did have to miss school, classmates and teachers pitched in to make sure that he was kept up-to-date on what was going on so that he could keep up with his schoolwork.

When neighbors learned of the seriousness of Nick's illness, they pitched in to help in many ways. A schedule was established so that someone was providing hot meals for the family every night. In additon to food, firends and neighbors provided rides for Nick's two sisters when they had appointments and practices. A network of drivers was organized to help get Nick's friends in to visit when he was at MGH.

Nick Ressler blood drive

Many friends and neighbors donated blood during Nick's illness. This generosity of spirit is carried forward with the Nick Ressler Blood Drive for Mass. General Hospital that takes place annually at the First Parish in Concord. The Nick Ressler blood drive will be held this year on Saturday, April 9, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. You are eligible if you are 17 years old or older. Call Pam Ressler 1-978-369-0869 or Cindy Tenner 1-978-371-0306 for an appointment to donate blood.

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito