Family, Bedford community mourn boy who 'pushed us to do so much'
Nicholas Dainiak of Bedford gets a hit in this 2010 photo with his mom, Heather Dainiak, during a Challenger Division game at the Bedford Little League facility. (UNION LEADER FILE)
The Bedford boy died Friday, the day of his 11th birthday, after battling pneumonia last week, said Heather Dainiak, Nicholas’ mother. He had been diagnosed at age 5 with Batten disease.
All afternoon, friends and acquaintances offered condolences and stopped for a moment at a small shrine. Included in the mementos were a picture of a grinning Nicholas and a blue blanket decked with baseballs.
“There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do,” said Dorothy Noyes, Nicholas’ grandmother. “As he slowed down, he really didn’t seem to notice. He never complained.”
Nicholas was healthy enough to be part of some of the early fundraisers, including the “Fore! Nicholas” golf tournament. The sixth annual event will be held June 21 at Stonebridge Country Club in Goffstown.
Shane’s specialty was the ability to sense when Nicholas was about to have a seizure.
The New Hampshire Make-a-Wish Foundation and the Manchester Fire Department, which raised $12,500, helped acquire Shane in 2010.
A picture of the two, with Nicholas grinning, was among the photos on display during the calling hours.
The family knew for more than half Nicholas’ life that the boy’s time would be limited to childhood.
“We knew it was coming. I feel like we were grieving after he was diagnosed. He pushed us to do so much,” Heather Dainiak said. “He really turned our lives around to be selfless. That brought our community together.”
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