Community Sports

Thursday, Dec 06 2012 11:09 PM

Cancer-stricken child, a USC fan, starts toy drive

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    COURTESY Nathan Garcia, a 12-year-old suffering from brain cancer, poses with friend Cody Kessler, a Centennial High graduate and USC quarterback. Garcia has helped start a toy drive for sick children. Donations are accepted today only.

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BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer zewing@bakersfield.com

For his birthday, 12-year-old Nathan Garcia of Bakersfield wanted only to help others and asked if a toy drive could be organized for sick children in Kern County.

That's an altruistic idea for any kid, but consider this: Garcia's birthday, on Dec. 17, likely will be his last -- if he gets there at all.

Garcia has Stage 4 terminal brain cancer, and this week doctors told his family he has just days to live. So Terrio Therapy, where Garcia did physical rehabilitation until he no longer could, moved up the toy drive.

All of Bakersfield's Terrio locations are accepting new or gently used toys for Garcia's drive, but only for today.

Garcia, a big USC fan, did get a little something for himself Thursday when he took a phone call from Trojans coach Lane Kiffin. Among their good friends, the Garcias count the Kessler family, including Cody Kessler, a Centennial graduate and USC redshirt freshman quarterback.

Terrio locations, all in Bakersfield, are as follows: 7900 District Blvd, Suite C; 8800 Stockdale Highway, Suite 150; 901 Tower Way, Suite 101; 3400 Calloway Drive, Suite 600; 13125 Rosedale Highway, Suite 101; 2838 Oswell St.; 1800 Westwind Dr.; and 4101 Easton Drive.

Donations are only being accepted through close of business today because of Garcia's urgent situation.

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