Nick Konkler was a Seattle-area teen with a dream. He loved working with wood in shop class, and as a cancer survivor, he knew how tricky it can be to navigate around a hospital, attached to an IV pole.
And so, he came up with a project to change things.
According to today.com, Konkler had a plan to build IV pole “lily pads,” skateboard-like devices that allow patients to get around more easily.
The lily pad IV poles were thought of for kids fighting cancer. Unfortunately, Konkler himself had cancer and at 17 years old, he never saw his dream project come true. In February of 2015, he died after a long, brave battle with leukemia and a childhood brain tumor.
But Konkler’s project continued on. It lived on magically in the hands of his classmates. One Saturday morning, students at Auburn Riverside gathered at school to bring the mobile lily pads into existence. Classmates from the shop class cut and put the IV pads together and the art and design class painted designs by hand on each platform.
And the result was something beautiful.
The lily pads on wheels are now adding a little something special to life for children who are cancer patients at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. They no longer have to walk from place to place in the hospital with their IV pole.
“I think it’s fun to see the kids ride them, because that’s what he (Konkler) would have wanted,” said Nick’s mom, Christina. “He would have wanted to see all the kids, you know, out of bed walking or riding the lily pad.”
Konkler’s dad Vince said it makes him very proud of who his son was.