Nicholas Kristock
Favorite phrase: "Finish Strong"
A little more about Nicholas...
Nicholas Kristock is the Founder and Executive Director of Fleece & Thank You.
In 2015, Nicholas was playing soccer in Australia and volunteering for national children’s charities and at the regional children’s hospital. It was at a camp for children and families with cancer that he met a four year old girl named Sophie who altered the course of his life.

Sophie had a smile about her that was brighter than the sun and more contagious than a yawn. Sadly, Sophie had lived most of her life inside a hospital room. She had a pediatric cancer called neuroblastoma, which is an illness that creates tumors in nerve cells. Nicholas said,

All Sophie had known was a life of long hospital stays and many sick days from cancer treatments. It broke my heart that Sophie and other kids like her have their childhood stolen from them by no fault of their own.”

As Nicholas began to build a relationship with Sophie and her family, he realized that many children who are diagnosed with illnesses that require hospital treatments often lose connection with their friends. As their battle in the hospital continues, friends and support systems soon stop visiting, calling, and texting. Nicholas felt called to create an organization that could provide these warriors with the proper support they deserved: an inspiring connection to the outside world and a piece of armor for their battle.
When his soccer contract came up for renewal he decided to end his career, travel back to Michigan, and start the journey to help kids just like Sophie. Fleece & Thank You was created to provide that much-needed comfort, support, and connection to children who are facing treatments in the hospital. Nicholas remarked,

The video message that accompanies each of our blankets is the most exciting part of our process for me. We are providing our warriors with a friendly face cheering them on at the starting line of their treatment journey. While the soft, comforting blanket is experienced by the touch, the inspiring video message is felt by the heart.”  

Nicholas loves having the opportunity to provide support and hope to the different people and families in the hospital, and he also really enjoys the powerful friendships that volunteers with the organization make. He feels fulfilled when he has the opportunity to connect with people and make a positive impact on their day. Nicholas also enjoys engaging with our awesome volunteers, and often says they are the heartbeat of our organization.
In his spare time, Nicholas can usually be found talking about or making blankets. When asked why he chose to pursue Fleece & Thank You, he replied,

I believe in the power of hope and in the power of connection. I want every child facing a scary, hospital inpatient treatment to know that, from the second they arrive in the hospital room, they are not alone in their battle. I won’t stop until we make that a reality.”

And by the way, if you were wondering how the Sophie story ends, she is 5 years old now and cancer-free. For the first time in her life, she does not have a chemotherapy port in her chest, and she can take swim classes!
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