BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – For a high school junior who spent most of his days out on the mat, the past three months have been tough.
In October, Shafter High School wrestler, Nicolas Garza, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
“When you hear cancer it freaks you out,” said Tomas Garza, Nicolas’ father. “It was tough when they told us he had it. Every day is a struggle for him. Some days he’s good, some days he’s not.”
But Nicolas has managed to keep his spirits high.
“I still want to come out here and support all my teammates,” said Nicolas Garza.
Just like they’ve been supporting him. Dozens of wrestlers from across the county shaved their heads in solidarity and support of Nicolas.
“It was kind of a shock and it was really cool to have them support me like that,” said Nicolas. “It really inspired me to get up, do stuff and keep fighting this even more.”
Nicolas says the hardest thing has been not being able to go back on the mat.
“It’s really disheartening,” said Nicolas. “It’s sad coming out to tournaments and not being able to wrestle.”
He’s been wrestling since he was seven years old. But, he’s not done yet. While he’s off for the season..
“I’ll be here next year,” said Nicolas.
His father adds his family is very thankful for the support they’ve received from the wrestling community.