Things were looking up for the Sharp family, when, in early December of last year, doctors notified Nick Sharp and Danielle Lamb that their 8-year-old son Nicholas, who has been battling lymphoma for the past two years, had finished his last treatment of chemotherapy, and was officially cancer free.
But only a couple of weeks after the doctor's good news, Nick, a father of four, was in a serious motorcycle accident.
A heavy machine operator at The Industrial Company and Stallion Springs resident, Nick was traveling on to Lake Isabella via Highway 178 to enjoy a day off from work with his brother, Josh, on Dec. 27. After turning a corner, the back tire of Nick's motorcycle hit a patch of gravel, which caused him to lose control of his bike, sending him into oncoming traffic.
Sharp's spine was severed in the accident, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. At press time he was in an intensive care unit at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield and is on full life support, his mother, Colleen O'Ryan, said.
O'Ryan describes her son as "man's man," a hard worker, and someone who takes pride in being the sole provider for his family.
"He's a dedicated father," O'Ryan said. "I could just spill out a hundred things for you. I just know he's a hardcore worker. His family means the world to him."
But friends and family knew the Nick's injury would hinder him from being able to take care of his family, so they started an online fundraiser where donors can pitch in to help offset medical costs and help with the construction of making his home wheelchair accessible.
The hope is to reach $10,000 in online donations, but money can also be sent through a trust set up at Union Bank in Nick Sharp's name.
Interested donors can go to http://gfwd.at/1gl4WXM to pledge their support.
Alyssa Hiniker started the online fundraiser for Sharp, who was one of her best friends in high school.
"Nick is very outspoken and he's so funny," she said. "Everything is such a big joke. He loves life, loves to ride motorcycles. He's a super, super good dad. He loves his kids. He's all around a really good person."
O'Ryan also said Nick, whose family has been in the Tehachapi area for five generations, was always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in the community.
"He's our go-to guy in this town," she said. "Anybody who needs help in this town goes to him. This is just going to be an uphill battle for him. We need every last bit of support."