BRUNSWICK, OH — Time is everything; the only thing Kim Nemet would want more of.
“We’ve been through a lot for two years, eight months and three days,” says Nemet. “It was quite a journey.”
Today, she spends most of her time in her backyard tending her corner, rainbow-colored garden, in honor of her son, Collin.
“I can come out here and say my prayers and it’s just amazing,” she explained. “I promised you know that Collin is going to do what he’s going to do on his side of the rainbow and we’ll do what we have to do on our side until we’re together again.”
Nemet explained that Collin had medulloblastoma and was “diagnosed with his brain tumor on the first day of fourth grade.”
Collin’s brain tumors, as Nemet says, “had a DNA marker that said it would always come back.” She went on to say that Collin “was actually sent home to hospice two, three different times — really saying there was nothing we could do for him.”
But faith would give Collin the time he prayed for. The high school student prayed often.
“Jesus actually came to him in prayer and told him I’m going to remove your tumors,” Nemet said.
Nemet says that’s exactly what happened every time. Collin’s tumors would disappear for months at a time, and her family would benefit. They promised to make memories, whether at Disney World or at home on two wheels.
“That was a huge achievement for him and even after his brain tumor and being able to ride a bike it was like moving a mountain,” Nemet said.
Collin’s Introduction to Trike and Bike
Collin’s passion for cycling started when he was a toddler. Nemet says it was mainly due to his father’s love for horseback riding.
“My husband is obsessed with cycling,” she said.
Ultimately, their love inspired the Brunswick community to participate in Cleveland Clinic’s annual Trike and Bike event for the first time in 2020, thanks to Collin’s grandmother, who, via letter to city manager, Carl DeForest, asked if the city wanted Participate.
“I thought we should do that,” DeForest said. “I don’t have many friends and Collin was a friend of mine,” explains DeForest.
The city raised $26,701 that year. This year’s goal is $30,000, as community members pledge to honor Collin and so many others who are fighting in the same battle.
“To know that you are giving back to such a little boy was really sobering.”
Trike and Bike is for children aged 3 to 12 who support life-saving research into childhood cancer. The fundraiser will benefit VeloSano Kids, which is part of the Cleveland Clinic’s adult fundraising program, VeloSano, which means “quick healing” in Latin. The year-round event supports cancer research in adults. One hundred percent of the money raised goes directly to research at the Cleveland Clinic.
Cancer is the leading cause of disease death in children
According to the Cleveland Clinic, one in every 285 children will be diagnosed with cancer. In addition, fewer than 10 drugs have been developed for use in children with cancer since 1980. Still, the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation reports that only 4% of federal government funding for cancer research is allocated to childhood cancer research.
Collin Nemet wheelchair ride
“What parents want when their kids have cancer is just more time. They just want more time,” Nemet said. “Anything you can get to give someone more time is invaluable.”
Collin’s last battle with cancer
“In my heart I knew because he was so special that his place would be with God,” Nemet said of Collin.
After months of driving and living with his family, Nemet recalls Collin receiving confirmation from God during a family ride over the past holiday season.
“Before you know it, he became very quiet and serious and said that God spoke to me again. We’re like, ‘what did God say?’ And he says, ‘God told me something is coming.’”
Soon after, Collin’s scans showed his tumors had returned.
“On April 22 of this year, Collin passed away from his brain tumor. He went home to be with God,” Nemet said.
Moving on is difficult and Nemet says the days are never the same for her husband and four other children, but she finds peace in her garden devoted to Collin.
“He’s just always with me,” she said. “Collin would always say God has this, so I know God has this.”