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Our kids inspire us to fight to defeat DIPG.

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Austin Nichols

April 26, 1989 – November 23, 2015

Austin exuded a humble spirit with a vibrant smile and kindness that touched so many lives.  He was talented in everything that he did and was a naturally gifted young man in so many ways.  He was a best friend to many and known as the family jokester, you never knew what the next prank or joke he would make. His uncanny spirit with love touched all that knew Austin.  He was talented in all sports at a very young age and went on to letter as a High School athlete at Grass Lake Michigan in Baseball, Basketball, Football and Golf.  He became the youngest high school golf captain as a freshman and went on to win numerous matches and gained accolades in the local news media.  Austin idolized the talents of Tiger Woods who he would watch intensely on TV and would read and study on his golf strategies.  Austin was also a wonderful musician, who taught himself how to play guitar and would often sing songs with his soft smooth voice that many of us sat in awe.  Austin’s true passion however was the ability to draw cars and create visions that others could not imagine.  Austin possessed the ability to draw at a very young age and had the unique ability to create artistic renditions of people, landscapes, cityscapes and so much more, yet his lifelong passion was to become an automotive designer.  Austin was accepted into the one of the most renowned prominent schools “The College of Creative Studies” in 2008 and entered the Industrial Design course that was attended by the world’s most gifted in automotive design.  Austin flourished in his college years and was given numerous opportunities to travel and to meet the automotive industry leaders in vehicle design.  He also started dating the love of his life, in the summer of 2011.

Austin was diagnosed with DIPG on March 3rd, 2012.  He was preparing to go on a spring break trip to Florida during his junior year with his girlfriend and a group of friends.  He started to experience numbing in his right arm and a tingling sensation that started to progress further up his arm.  He had an MRI as a precaution before his spring break trip, where it was discovered that he had a tumor on his brain stem and was characterized by the acronym of DIPG.  This was a moment that we will never forget as the numbness set in for all of us that soon became our living nightmare.

After his diagnosis, Austin, lived life fully all while going through radiation and chemotherapy, dealing with all the consequences of the treatments.   He was determined to finish college and obtain his degree to fulfill a lifelong objective to ultimately become an Automotive Designer.

Austin holding his daughter

Austin and his soon to be wife had a large wedding that May on a beautiful sunshine filled day that was attended by family, friends and colleagues and were also honored with attending physicians Dr. Aaron Mammoser and Dr. Ted Lawrence from the University of Michigan Nero Oncology team.  Austin graduated from the College of Creative Studies in December of 2012 and proceeded to land his dream job working at Delphi in Michigan as an Automotive Designer.  This was then followed by Austin and his wife welcoming a daughter into our world in December of 2012, where Austin was able to hold his daughter and welcome her into this world.

Austin succumbed to DIPG on March 25th, 2013, with his wife, family, and friends at his side.  Austin’s legacy and memories continue to walk with all that he touched in so many ways.

What is DIPG?

DIPG is a devastating and aggressive brain tumor typically found in children.

What is ChadTough Defeat DIPG?

Learn about our founders, mission, and impact.