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Monday, November 7, 2016

Senior Describes Father’s Fight with Stage 4 Lung Cancer

Nguyen said photography is his outlet, and
he plans on becoming a nurse.
Nam Nguyen has had his share of challenges. He moved to the United States from Vietnam when he was in the eighth grade and encountered a major culture shock. He said he had trouble fitting in and had to learn how to be comfortable in his own skin.

When he transferred into Mansfield ISD, Nguyen said everything was going well. Now that he’s a senior, he has a set routine of going to school during the day and earning college credits at night. But he said the news he received earlier this year nearly sent him on a downward spiral.

“In May, my dad started coughing so much,” said the 12th grader at The Phoenix Academy. “He went to doctors, and they kept giving him allergy medicine, but it kept getting worse.”

His dad underwent scans and blood tests to determine what was wrong. He was later diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in August 2016.

“I was so depressed,” Nguyen recalls. “He’s my only family here. Without him, I’m alone. I was shocked because he’s a non-smoker.”

Nguyen remembers spending two weeks at home grieving and crying. His dad eventually told him that being sad isn’t going to change anything, and that’s when the senior’s perspective changed.

Nguyen said he has five posters filled with well wishes for his father.
“I have to stay positive so that my dad’s positive throughout his chemo. My friends really helped me out during this hard time. Now, I see that I’m very fortunate for a lot of things in life, like a bright future and my career opportunities.”

Through his own experience, Nguyen said he realized how necessary MISD’s Colors for Caring initiative is. On the designated days, he said he will be wearing colors in honor of his dad.

“I’m also making a poster collage for him. A lot of people have already signed it,” he said. “It will mean a lot to him to see that others care about him. That’s why I know that Colors for Caring is helping other people feel that they’re not going through this alone.”

For information and a photo gallery of MISD’s Colors for Caring Days, visit the district’s website.