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Boy who rode with Vancouver police officers dies at 4

Parents say ‘Nick’ had ‘experience of a lifetime’ before liver cancer claimed his life

By , Columbian Breaking News Reporter
Published: February 27, 2017, 8:22pm
5 Photos
Nick Zadak, 4, smiles back at his mom before getting into a police car for a ride-along with Vancouver Neighborhood Police Officers, Tyler Chavers, from left, James Burgara, Erik Jennings and Mac Shipp at Zadak's home in Vancouver on Jan. 25. Nick died Thursday after battling hepatoblastoma, a pediatric liver cancer. (Ariane Kunze/The Columbian)
Nick Zadak, 4, smiles back at his mom before getting into a police car for a ride-along with Vancouver Neighborhood Police Officers, Tyler Chavers, from left, James Burgara, Erik Jennings and Mac Shipp at Zadak's home in Vancouver on Jan. 25. Nick died Thursday after battling hepatoblastoma, a pediatric liver cancer. (Ariane Kunze/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

A 4-year-old boy who had the “experience of a lifetime” meeting Vancouver police officers last month has died, his parents said Monday.

Dominick “Nick” Matthew Zadak, who battled a pediatric liver cancer called hepatoblastoma since May 2015, died Thursday.

His family, parents Katie and Robert Zadak and his sister, Anna, remembered Nick as a boy with a joyful smile, sweet demeanor and inspiring others with his positive attitude as he faced his cancer battle.

Last month, Nick was visited by four Vancouver police officers, who let him ride in a patrol car, play with handcuffs and talk on the radio.

In the months before his passing, Nick also went on a long list of adventures: He visited Disney World through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, played on the field at University of Washington’s Husky Stadium and had his very own Dozer Day with Catworks Construction. He also got to fly in a helicopter and ride in a boat in Florida, explore a fire truck in Portland and ride a school bus to his first day of kindergarten at Tukes Valley Elementary School.

Nick’s family said they are heartbroken by Nick’s passing but are determined to keep his memory alive by living their lives inspired by his joy.

In lieu of flowers, Nick’s family is asking for donations to be made to the child life team at Randall Children’s Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 4484, Portland, OR 97208. (On the check memo line, write, “For Child Life in honor of Nick Zadak.”)

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