Popular local band member battling lymphoma: How you can help

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“Anti rejection pills, vitamins, there’s about 10 of them in there and then i take about five at night.”

Nate Nicholson is the lead guitarist of the local band Funktastic Five, but his life quickly turned upside down after finding out he had lymphoma once again.

“I was a little disappointed but I’ve been through this so it’s just another hurdle, we’ll beat it,” Nicholson said.

Nicholson has been down this road before after being cleared of the cancer in his stomach in mid May, but his battle wasn’t over.

“About mid June I started having headaches and they did an MRI in my head and they saw a little spot in the back of my head and they said it’s a lymphoma,” said Nicholson.

Nicholson found out the cancer spread to his brain.
What started 10 years ago after taking medication for a double lung transplant..

“I was devastated.”

Nicholson’s wife Tammy is his biggest cheerleader, but says it’s not easy.

“It’s been tough as a caregiver and his wife you just feel very helpless,” she said. “I’m in the healthcare field, I’m a nurse so that makes it even worse because I’m supposed to be able to fix him but I can’t,” she said.

Nicholson has been hospitalized three times this year for over a week at a time with hospital bills pilling up; undergoing a more aggressive chemotherapy treatment this time.

“It’s scary anytime your loved one gets diagnosed with a cancer that could potentially take his life it’s heartbreaking,” Nicholson said. “I know when I married him that with a lung transplant the chances of us growing old were probably pretty slim,” she said.

Playing guitar is an escape for Nicholson but he said his biggest motivation is his wife.

“I want to be around for her,” said Nicholson. “We just got married it seems like three years ago we’ve only been together seven so I just want to be around for her and just be around for as long as I can,” said Nicholson.

“He’s like the strongest person I know so I know he’ll get through it.”

Nicholson will be meeting his donor family in August in Minnesota one day before his 10 year lung transplant anniversary.


His trivia night benefit will be held Sunday  at the East End Bolders club in Moline with a 90’s theme and costume contest.


To donate or reserve a table for the benefit contact: Amy Ressen at (309) 721-8424

or Jennifer Bleuer at: (309) 721-8613.

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