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Returning the favor
by Garrett Valenzuela
Mar 18, 2013 | 3404 views | 2 2 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nicky Stevens
Nicky Stevens
It’s rare to throw the acronym ‘VIP’ around and receive any sort of negative reaction. But when 15-year-old Nicky Stevens referred to himself as a “VIP at Renown” Medical Center during his childhood, it’s hard to imagine the experience was glamorous.

Stevens, a freshman at Reed High School, has tallied more than 20 surgeries in his young life and he said getting treatment at Renown was something he will likely never forget.

“I was like a VIP at Renown when I was little,” Stevens said. “I had issues with my trachea and esophagus and I had about 20 surgeries on it. All the nurses and staff knew me really well. I have had so many problems and they have helped me through all of them.”

Stevens had another five surgeries tacked on in the seventh grade when a hernia developed in his stomach, which kept him out of school for about two weeks. He said the time spent in the hospital allowed him to better understand some basic hospital procedures and now the medical field holds a special place in his heart.

“I want to be an anesthesiologist when I grow up because when I was in the hospital the anesthesiologist was really nice to me,” Stevens said. “I have been helped so much in my life in the medical field and I just want to give back.”

Stevens has pushed his relationship with Renown even further through his involvement with the Children’s Miracle Network, which strives to raise funds and create awareness programs dedicated to the health of children. Because of Renown’s classification as a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital, Stevens is able to organize the Miracles in Motion fundraiser at the Sparks Marina to help boost funds for children currently at Renown.

“My mom always said when I was little she would look around the room and on the windows there were little Children’s Miracle Network stickers everywhere,” he said. “She didn’t really think much of it then, but now we both see how big of an impact it makes in kids’ lives.

“Children’s Miracle Network pays for the equipment kids need when they are in the hospital, and I was so lucky when I was little to not have to go over the hill to California. I was really lucky we had a hospital like Renown here in Reno.”

Through the Children’s Miracle Network, Stevens has had the opportunity to be Nevada’s ‘Miracle Child’ and represent the state during trips to Washington D.C. and Orlando, Fla. where he was able to meet former President George Bush, Miss America and visit Disney World. Stevens has been organizing fundraising events for Children’s Miracle Network for about five years and said his involvement has helped him “meet a lot of really great people.”

Stevens, in his spare time, delves into the music world, having played piano for five years and in the jazz band in middle school. He now plays flute in the Reed High band and is also teaching himself to play guitar. While his musical influences vary, he said making music is one thing he has really begun to enjoy over the past couple years.

“I like music and I feel really relaxed when I play guitar,” he said, “Not so much when I play piano but it is still fun.”

Stevens is currently working through a full schedule of Honors classes at Reed, hoping to graduate with his Honors diploma before attending the University of Nevada, Reno. He plans to study medicine in his quest to become an anesthesiologist and also further his education in music programs and clubs.
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Dwight & Homer Nestr
April 15, 2013
Quite a strong young man. Pray God continues to be with him & his family.
Mark Manion
March 19, 2013
Nick- You are an inspiration to so many kids each and every day! Wishing you continued success in reaching your goals and helping others along the way!
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