Local Tennis Star Beat Cancer and Supports Children’s Health Tennis Fundraiser

By Patrick McGee

By his senior year in high school, Nick Oberg’s hard work in tennis and school was paying off. He was scheduled to compete in the United States Tennis Association’s national competition in November, and he had just accepted at full tennis scholarship at the University of Portland, a Division One tennis university. Then doctors told him he had a brain tumor.

“You never think that would happen,” he said. “It was scary.”

His mother brought him to the hospital for severe headaches, and an MRI showed he had a tumor the size of a grape.

A few days later doctors drained the tumor in four and a half hours of surgery. A biopsy showed chances for curing Nick were excellent, and he was sent to Children’s Medical Center Dallas for chemotherapy.

“We happened to be at the one of the best medical places in the country. We were very fortunate,” Nick’s mother, Christina Oberg, said.

Chemotherapy began, and Nick said he drew on life lessons from the tennis court to get through it.

“If there’s a problem on the court, you’re losing or you’re down, you can’t just give up you have to keep going and think of a way to come back from it,” Nick said.

Treatments often made him too sick to play tennis so he turned his focus on finishing his high school course work online. His goal was to finish school before he finished chemotherapy so that when he regained his strength he could get back to tennis as soon as possible.

“It’s incredible what he’s done,” his mother said. “He’s very positive. That’s what I think pulled him through it. … He always had a vision of where he is going.”

Nick said the Children’s Health medical staff was also a tremendous help.

“All the oncologists, the nurses and the staff here are all really friendly and nice. They really care about getting you better,” he said. “They all were really, really nice and made me feel really welcome and feel a lot better about my treatment.”

Nick said they motivated him to decide on biology as his college major so he can work in medicine someday. He’s scheduled to begin classes at the University of Portland in the fall and is back to rigorous tennis practice and competitive play.

“I just like being out there,” he said. “I just like the sport. I like that it’s an individual sport, it’s only you out there. It also helps with problem solving and responsibility outside of tennis.”

To learn more about the Red Balloon Children Helping Children Tennis Tournament,
please visit give.childrens.com/tennis


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