What's New?

Basketball Tournament 2017

Our 7th Annual Nate's Wish Basketball Tournament will be held Saturday, November 18th

Nate's Wish Expands

Nate's Wish Backpacks have shown up at Norton Children's

Nate's Story Available in Spanish

La historia de Nate está disponible en español

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Nate's Wish is registered with Amazon Smile

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Nate's Wish Expands to Norton Children's Hospital

Fall 2017
Approximately 80 children are diagnosed with cancer each year at Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, KY. Through the efforts of Paducah’s Dr. Shawn Jones, M.D. in promoting Nate’s Wish cause, all newly diagnosed patients will receive a Nate’s Wish backpack.

Read more on page 8 of the Kentucky Foundation for Medical Care 2017 Annual Report

Parking Shuttle for Paducah BBQ on the River

September 2017
Our volunteers had the opportunity to share Nate's story and the mission of Nate's Wish while providing shuttles between Carson Park and the riverfront.  A fun weekend with our neighbors, plenty of good BBQ, and donations to support Nate's Wish. Thankful for the support of so many!

 shuttle bus photo  shuttle tent photo  information desk photo

Lone Oak Elementary Penny War

Fall 2017
Always a fun event with friendly competition and lots of smiles - all for a good cause - Kids helping Kids!


Backpack Packing!

March 11, 2017
Thankful for our volunteers who come together to form an assembly line of love and make quick work of restocking our inventory of Nate's Wish backpacks


6th Annual Basketball Tournament

November 19, 2016
Nate's Wish would like to thank all of our volunteers who helped with our 6th Annual Regional Basketball Tournament. Through the assistance of thirty business sponsors, 31 middle school basketball teams - who contribute financially as well as through their gift of athleticism, and numerous donations in our silent auction, we raised over $20,000 to go completely to buying and filling backpacks for children battling cancer!  Thank You!

Lone Oak Elementary Penny War

Fall 2016
Wow! Our Lone Oak Elementary Students have done it again, raising over $2800 by Preschool through 3rd grade!        


Back Pack Packing 2015

September 5, 2015
Months of fundraising, planning and purchasing paid off as we packed one hundred backpacks with gifts for comfort, distraction and encouragement. Many prayers over the backpacks for children who will be diagnosed with cancer over the next year.


Fourth Annual Basketball Tournament

Nov 22, 2014
Our largest fundraiser yet was held all day Saturday, Nov. 22nd with over $20,000 raised in one day. Months of preparation went into the tournament by our planning committee and tournament coordinator. Thank you to every volunteer! We appreciate all the wonderful auction items many community businesses donated this year. We are always humbled by all who serve through Nate’s Wish basketball tournament.


English's Sewing & Vac Hosts Pillowcase Event

Feb 22, 2014
Many English's Sewing customers faithfully help out when they see a charity that can benefit from their sewing talents. Such is the case with Nate's Wish as many made cheerful printed pillowcases for kids with cancer this year.  Thank you, English's!


Lone Oak Elementary Does It Again!

Sep. 30 - Oct. 4, 2013
WOW! We are so impressed with the participation of Lone Oak Elementary Students in the 3rd Annual Penny War.  Every day during the Penny War competition, the children brought in more money than the day before. We were overwhelmed with the giving spirit of the students and their families as the sounds of excitement grew each morning when change was collected in the gymnasium. Many parents joined their children in the gym to help carry all the coins they had brought in. What benevolence this school family has shown Nate's Wish. The GRAND TOTAL of $4700 was collected by Lone Oak Elementary!!


Second Annual Nate's Wish Penny War at Lone Oak Elementary

Penny Wars Jars We have just completed a successful 2nd Penny War.  Thanks to all the kids, administration and teachers at Lone Oak Elementary for the great fundraiser.  We raised over $3,300.00 in change for the Nate's Wish backpacks.  We got great comments from the kids as well as the teachers.  We also heard what a powerful impact the pictures of the kids receiving the backpacks made on the students.Special thanks to Mrs. Bremer and her class for collecting all of the change and taking extra effort to build the competition.  Also, a special thanks to Paducah Bank for counting all of the change every day of the competition.  We are amazed that the kids were able to find any change in the Lone Oak community after last year.  Thanks for helping making Nate's Wish a reality.        

We Are Getting Great Feedback

"I just wanted to say thank you for sharing Nates story. My 9yr son just got diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma. Its a bone cancer. Nate's story made everything a little easier to explain to him. You touched my heart. I am so grateful for your kindness"

"I was recently diagnosed with cancer and during my clinical I received a Nate's Wish backpack. I would really like to express my appreciation to the Nate's Wish foundation."

"An org. called Nates wish brought Mark a backpack full of fun stuff. It had a big stuff teddy bear, some kid written books about cancer, an ipod touch, a movie about being in the hospital and how scary it can be. It made everything a little easier for me to explain to him whats going on. It touched my heart."

Nate Gets His Wish

Four year-old Audrey presents her parents with a colorful purse she’s made out of paper. This tiny handbag is stuffed with hand-made business cards, a handcrafted book, and paper rings she’s decorated with a host of colors and images. Ali, just about to complete the second grade, is in the other room chattering away on the phone with a young friend. This picture-perfect scene makes it easy to forget that just three years ago this family lost their seven-year-old son, Nate.

In the summer of 2009, Nate, recovering from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) and the accompanying chemotherapy treatments, was unable to fight off an illness caused by a bite from a rare tick. He passed away on June 24, 2009, just two months before his eighth birthday.

“Nate had just survived the most difficult part of his cancer treatment and was in maintenance mode,” said his father Jeff. “He had been out of school throughout most of kindergarten, but had been able to complete the first grade. He was ready to get outside and be a regular kid again.”

The Richards were just getting back to a normal life. Nate was doing well, playing with the neighborhood kids, and making up for lost time he’d missed outdoors.

“He had passed the biggest hurdle of treatment, and we thought everything was under control,” said Stacie, Nate’s mother.

From the very beginning of Nate’s battle with cancer, the Richards family has tried to be positive. Nate wanted to put together his own book for other children with cancer. So, the family kept a photo journal of Nate’s treatment and his battle against cancer. They pulled together journal entries Nate had written at school and incorporated it all into a book. When Nate died they continued to work on the book and now distribute copies of the book to area children’s hospitals for kids battling cancer.

In his own words, Nate outlines his fears and experiences. He offers a few tips that he discovered were helpful to him along the way.

“We pulled together things that Nate had written over his time in the first grade. He thought it was cool that we were putting it together in a book,” said Stacie. “Nate wanted to tell other children his story to be helpful to them. We wanted to make that happen too.”

To make Nate’s dream a reality, the Richards have started an organization called Nate’s Wish. They raise money to put together backpacks filled with things to comfort children when they are admitted to the hospital for cancer treatment.

“Our goal with these backpacks is to make children smile—even if it’s a smile that only lasts a moment. Every smile is important,” said Stacie. “It was important for our family to focus on the good things around us. I didn’t feel strong and was shaken, but Jeff was good about making us laugh. Laughter is a necessary distraction.”

Nate’s Wish continues to raise money for backpacks through local fundraisers.

“It’s been difficult to put everything together because this is uncharted territory for us. But we’ve been so blessed by talented people stepping in and helping us pull fundraisers together and make things happen,” said Jeff.

They have been surprised at how much support the community has given them. After a penny war at Lone Oak Elementary School in September, the organization relied on Paducah Bank’s Strawberry Hill location to count the thousands of pennies that the students collected each day.

“Everyone at Paducah Bank was so kind,” said Stacie. “We collected $5,000 worth of pennies! We truly appreciate their support.”

The Richards have learned how to take one day at a time. Through Nate’s Wish they are able to comfort children and families who are struggling with some of the same fears and challenges that they were faced with.

(Download PDF of Story)

Assembling the Backpacks

June 18, 2012
We had a great turnout and good time assembling the first set of the Nate's Wish backpacks. A special thanks to Jennifer and Lauren Frank for coming up from Nashville to help and as well as haul a car load of items from the Children's Hospital for us. After having a brief instruction and prayer we got to work. It was so amazing to us how fast it went and how much work was done. We had several stations going at the same time and everyone seemed to know just what to do and how to expeditiously do it. WOW!!! We were blown away! We now have over 6 months of backpacks assembled and ready to deliver to these wonderful children.



What a great time we had making pillowcases! There was much love poured out in this project. We collected over 100 beautiful pieces for the children. Thank you English's Sewing community!

First Annual Nate's Wish Basketball Tournament

Big Thanks to our loving local community supporting our efforts with this project. We had 44 teams participate! We raised over $15,000 and had 70+ volunteers. We also had many, many very generous sponsors! Follow the link to the story our local news did on the event. http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/news/local/Family-spreads-sons-basketball-wish-134178788.html

Penny War at Lone Oak Elementary

Thanks to Lone Oak Elementary Students and Teachers for getting us off to a great start! They collected $4,874 of CHANGE!!!!

Nate's Story on RMcH Nashville Telethon 2011