Co-workers raise money for man with rare cancer

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by NATASHA RYAN / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on November 10, 2011 at 6:48 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 10 at 6:58 PM

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- A young man just diagnosed with a rare type of cancer has found support in his work family. In for the fight of his life, his co-workers have rushed to his side.

At the Lexus of Bellevue, it might look like employees are little more than numbers, but Nick Magnotti says that couldn't be farther from the truth.

"It's an escape. When I'm sitting with a customer I'm not Nick the cancer patient. I'm Nick the service adviser, and I just get to do what I do," he said.

Behind the 25-year-old's almost constant smile, there's recognition that he has a lifelong battle ahead of him.

"The oncologist says it's not a matter of if but when the cancer will come back. And ultimately this is going to be something that takes you out," said Nick.

What he thought was just a severe stomach ache turned out to be a rare form of appendix cancer. He was diagnosed just weeks ago.

"He was back to work in a couple of days and you wouldn't have known anything was wrong, work, demeanor he's incredible that way." No tears, no anger, and at just 25, no why me?" said his boss Mark Babcock.

Instead Nick proclaims, "I'm the perfect person to fight this fight because I can."

There are only a few specialists around the country that will treat this cancer so the travel will become costly. That's why Nick's co-workers have stepped in.

Lynn Webb made green rubber bracelets with Nick's name and the word "smile" on them. Smile because Nick doesn't want people to be sad when they think of him. One only need to look at wrists to see the vast support system.

"We all walk by each other and shake it, are you wearing your bracelet?" said Lynn.

Nick says Lynn has always been the nurturing type. It's more than that though, Lynn has a quiet understanding. The breast cancer survivor explains, "You take a deep breath and keep moving along."

General Manager Mark Babcock was so moved by the generosity that he is matching his employees' donations.

For Nick this whole experience, that he calls "a blessing disguised in an ugly package" proves to him, he's not just a number.

"I don't worry about things like money because of people like Lynn Webb doing this for me. I don't stress about losing my job. This is my second family, these people really do care about me," Nick said.

The total amount of donations plus the match now equals more $10,000. To follow Nick's progress or to make a donation, you can visit his wife's blog at http://alyssamag.posterous.com/

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