Springfield boy uses laughter to fight illness with help from CMNH
Nicholas Heun is your average 10-year-old Springfield boy, who loves to joke around.
"I find a way to have fun with literally everybody," he said. While it may look like he just goofs off all day, Nick deals with a much more serious reality.
"Basically he was born without an immune system,” began explaining Amanda Heun, Nick’s mother. “There's three antibodies in the immune system and he's missing two.” Mrs. Heun also said this means a handful of other illnesses, like arthritis, central tremors, and severe migraines.
All of that adds up to 22 medications, nine doctors, physical therapy, monthly trips to St. Louis and what would've been lots of medical bills.
"We kind of pride ourselves on not asking for help and it just got where we had no choice," said Amanda of the moment they realized Nick’s illness was more than they could handle. “Being a rancher and a minister, neither one of them are both money makers,” said Nick’s father, John Heun.
The Heun Family reached out to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMNH) and hasn’t looked back since.
CMN Hospitals has helped with travel and lodging expenses for the Heun family while they constantly have to work to keep Nick healthy.
Most recently, Nick believes it was CMNH who helped him connect with an organization called Team Impact.
“They match sick kids with college soccer teams, so it kind of teaches the soccer team empathy and teaches the kid how to be a team player,” explained Nick. Now, Nick has 30 bothers from the Missouri State University soccer team who have his back.
John Heun said Nick is giving as much as he's getting from his new team. "We've met people from all over the world through the soccer team, their parents have reached out to us and seen the change in their child because they met Nick," he said.
While there’s no cure for the illness Nick lives with, he plans on living each day to its fullest and filling them with laughter. “You know that they say, laughter is the best medicine,” said Nick.
He also wants people to give to the organization that has given him so much. "Put your money where the miracles are,” he said.
Miracle Week is celebrated during the first week of December. Those looking to donate can call (417) 268-3222 or follow the link attached with this story to donate online.