Cancer Patient Selling 9/11 Flag

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

March 2, 2005

An Orange County man diagnosed with kidney cancer is hoping a significant piece of history will help pay his rising medical bills.

David Nicholson vividly remembers the day last March when doctors gave him the devastating diagnosis of kidney cancer.

"I was depressed, upset, it felt like the whole world was caving in on me. I was thinking about my daughter, I didn't know what was going to happen to her," he said.

Since then, Nicholson has undergone numerous medical treatments, some of which cost up to $60,000 a session.

"I was paying them pretty well, until I actually ran out of funds. I was having to live on proceeds of a sale of my house."

Unable to keep up, Nicholson's wife Elisha sought out a way to get help. The answer came while reading an article on flag collectors.

"It occurred to me that with everything that we've been going through, maybe it was a sign that we might be able to do something with our flag," she said.

For nearly three years, Nicholson has held on to a flag which hung on a construction crane outside the Pentagon the day of the September 11 attacks. He came across it at his previously-owned auction house.

"People wanted to buy it, at the time it wasn't for sale. We were offered over $100,000 back in 2002," Nicholson said.

Faced with a mountain of medical bills, the Nicholsons made the decision to sell the flag on Ebay. They set the starting bid at $25,000.

Although he's sad to see the piece of history go, Nicholson said it's his last hope. "I've got to do what I got to do; I've got to look after my family."

The 10–day auction will begin Friday, March 4.

Donations for the Nicholsons can be mailed to the David Nicholson Cancer Fund at Suntrust Bank, 1022 W. Main St., Charlottesville, VA 22903 or dropped off at any local Suntrust Bank.

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