On 28th June 2012, Nick Vasilaras’ life changed forever. He collapsed suddenly and was rushed to Gold Coast hospital. Lots of tests were done including a MRI of his brain. The MRI showed a large tumour involving the left side of his brain.
At this point, Nick was transferred to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital under the care of Dr Brindha Shivalingam (Neurosurgeon). The tumour involved speech areas of the brain which made surgery risky. Nick had surgery to remove the vast majority of the tumour on 31st July 2012. The tumour was then formally diagnosed as Glioblastoma Multiforme (Grade IV Glioma). This was a devastating moment as this particular tumour carries with it a grim prognosis. Thankfully Nick came out of surgery well and quite quickly headed back to work. He then underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy and throughout all of this, he could not be kept down. He kept working and making connections and was passionate about helping with research for brain cancer.
Nick Vasilaras - brain cancer victim and restaurant owner; Brindha Shivalingam – Nicks good friend and Neurosurgeon.
For a period of 12 months Nick was clear of his tumour. Unfortunately however in October 2013 the cancer raised its ugly head again. He then underwent surgery again and then more chemotherapy. Nick then stepped up his efforts to fundraise for brain cancer research and originally was planning an event that he wanted to call Dine Hands Free which he hoped to hold on 28th June this year to mark his anniversary. Nick’s condition then deteriorated in February of this year. His scans showed that the tumour had spread widely throughout his brain. Nick passed away on 21st May 2014 in his home on the Gold Coast surrounded by his parents and brothers.
Brain Cancer is a devastating disease that has a grim prognosis. It affects young adults in the prime of their lives. Funding for research has been short coming and this is the reason why there has not been any progress in the treatment of this cancer. Nick was well aware of this and we can’t forget his efforts to make a change.