Papillion Teen Battling Cancer Gets Nationwide Support

By: Brittany Gunter Email
By: Brittany Gunter Email

A Papillion teen battling cancer is getting support nationwide and it’s all thanks to social media. From Twitter to Facebook, don’t be surprised if you see the phrase “Team Zeke.” Channel 6 News spoke with the family who says the digital support means a lot to them.

It’s lunchtime inside the Which Wich Restaurant in Papillion. While the owner Tim Zikas is busy making sandwiches, he has a lot going on behind the scenes. His son, 16-year-old Nolan Zikas, known as “Zeke,” is waiting test results.

Last year, Zeke was diagnosed with bone cancer. It’s been an emotional roller coaster for the family. You know it’s been an extremely tough time. We started out in January 5th last year when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma."

Zeke’s been through surgeries and chemotherapy, the whole time keeping a smile on his face, but now it’s possible the cancer is back.

Zeke loves sports, especially golf and baseball. He used to play baseball for the Frozen Ropes Tigers. His former teammates and coaches have rallied behind him. “People from the community, people from Frozen Ropes Tigers' family and people from all over have just poured out," says former coach Bob Hlavac.

Now, people are doing it again on a whole other level. What’s pretty incredible is that Zeke has not only gotten local support, but also support nationwide. Tuesday night he was even trending on Twitter.

From Detroit Lion and former Cornhusker Ndamukong Suh to Husker Ben Cotton and Creighton basketball star Doug McDermott, many have been using social media to show their support for Team Zeke. “It’s unbelievable, it’s just a testament to what kind of person he is, what type of a character kid he is,” said former coach Jason Shockey.

It’s loving support that the family says they are grateful for. “For a father and mother to see the community behind us, it’s very much appreciated,” said Zikas.

Zikas says he wanted to say thank you to everyone for the support, so Wednesday, if you mention Zeke at Which Wich they will donate 10 percent of the sale to the American Cancer Society. The sandwich shop is located at 72nd and Giles and is open until 9 p.m.

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