Iowa State Fan and Double Amputee Who Inspired Many Has Died
Despite the many challenges he faced in life as a scoliosis patient and double amputee, Nick Bassett of Boone, Iowa had a few things to keep him going: determination, love of friends and family, and a strong sense of camaraderie with his fellow Iowa State football fans.
Nick was featured last September on ESPN GameDay, the same week as the beloved Iowa vs. Iowa State "CyHawk" rivalry football game, and sadly, it turned out to be his last one. The news came this week that 29-year-old Nick Bassett has passed away.
Nick's health issues began at age 2, according to USA Today. Doctors discovered a spinal cord tumor and diagnosed him with scoliosis. He was in a wheelchair by high school and had both legs amputated in May 2021. It was his goal to recover in time to make it to the stands to use his Cyclone season tickets, and he was indeed there when the season started.
Nick struck up a friendship with Iowa State football coach Matt Campbell, who was inspired enough by his story to invite Nick to give a motivational speech to the team ahead of the game.
Campbell reportedly left a recruiting visit this past Wednesday to visit Nick in the hospital and other Cyclone athletic figures sent their well-wishes.
I didn't know Nick personally, but I heard a lot about his story through co-workers who for years have been part of the CMN Radiothon with the Stead Family Children's Hospital at the University of Iowa, where Nick was taken care of in the early stages of his life. As you likely know, when you've been a patient there, you stay family to them for life, and Nick did.
You can learn more here about the spirit Nick Bassett brought to life while he was here and why he will be so well-celebrated and honored in his passing.