Nate was a college junior at UNC Charlotte when he was diagnosed. Within a weekend, he was diagnosed with stage IV cancer, forced to drop out of school and move up north to receive treatment. Determined to one day have a cancer free world, Nate founded RELENTLESS Against Cancer, Inc. A nonprofit dedicated to raising money for cancer research, Nate was determined to help others live in what he hoped would be a cancer free world. Cancer’s only job is to kill, and he knew that, but went at it head on. He would go around speaking, he wanted people to know his story and understand that cancer can strike anyone. He hoped by people seeing who looked to be a young, healthy kid, he would be able to get their attention and make them understand the importance of early detection.
Nate loved baseball. He was a star baseball player growing up. Once he got sick, one of his favorite hobbies became his motorcycle. It was a way for him to escape, momentarily, from the reality that he was struck with.
He founded Relentless Against Cancer, Inc. While he is no longer here to run it, we continue to raise money through it in his honor. Last year, we raised over $30,000 that was all donated to research facilities. This year, we will do better.
He took something very negative and turned it into something positive. Forced to grow up way before his time, he spent all he had to help others with cancer. While he knew the chances of curing him were slim, he didn’t let that stop him. He also became a support system for our family when it was all too much for us to process. I will never forget the last thing he said to me…”hang in there”
Nate’s philosophy was, “Every day is one day closer to finding a cure. Whatever you are up against, welcome the challenge and remember you are stronger than you think because you can and will weather this storm.”
He told a story when he would speak. The first time he did a relay for life he was a senior in high school. He bought a luminary and wrote the name Nathan Shatsoff on the bag, in memory of our grandfather who passed away at age 39 from colon cancer. He never imagined that a few years later, the names on the bag would be for him. Remember; cherish what you have, because in an instant it can all change.