Belchertown community holding fundraiser to honor former student

Western Mass News has the exclusive story on how they are remembering his legacy.
Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 4:52 PM EDT
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BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Family and friends are honoring one Belchertown High School graduate who died from cancer last year.

Western Mass News has the exclusive story on how they are remembering his legacy.

“He had all these great aspirations in mind, but the cancer does what it does, and he could unfortunately only get so far,” said Jennifer Boileau, mother of Nick Boileau.

Nick was just 24 years old when he was diagnosed with cancer, documenting his battle with cancer in a blog post just one month before he passed.

“I may not have lived a long life, but my life was a good one where I impacted the world around me to the best of my ability, and for that, I claim victory,” he said in the post.

A graduate of Belchertown High School, Nick went on to further his education, pursuing a doctoral degree in clinical psychology when his cancer came back, more aggressively than before.

“That’s a much more difficult type of leukemia to treat, and he went through another stem cell transplant this time with me as his donor, but unfortunately, it didn’t pan out the way we wanted,” Jennifer told us.

His mom Jennifer told Western Mass News the inspiration behind their foundation, Nick’s Waves of Change, came from her son’s positive outlook on life and the legacy he wanted to leave behind.

“We centered it on his idea of change in the world and the things that he did while he was alive,” she said. “He said that despite the seemingly small size, he wanted them to ripple into something amazing, so that’s what we are hoping to do.”

Part of the foundation’s mission is to focus on education. A fundraiser will take place on Wednesday to raise money for a scholarship going to a Belchertown High senior.

“We are hoping that we get a lot of support from the community to enjoy the dinner, and enjoy the raffle ticket, and really support a great foundation,” said family friend Denise Walker.

Walker has been working closely with the Boileaus as they work to continue impacting changes Nick hoped to see.

“Nick was an amazing human being who was taken way too soon, but we are hoping to have his legacy live on for many, many years through the scholarship and the foundation and the Belchertown community,” she told us.

If you are interested in attending Wednesday night’s fundraiser, or if you cannot make it but would still like to donate to the foundation, you can find more information here.