Nick is 16 years old, is 6'3.5", has PKU and is a superstar basketball player! Nick lives on a property just outside Melbourne, with his wonderful family - his mum, dad and brother.
Nick loves basketball and while not at school, spends most of his time playing basketball games, training or at the gym. Nick plays in 3 different basketball teams!
What is Nick’s greatest achievement?
Nick’s greatest achievement was being selected to play representative basketball in Melbourne and traveling to America to play for his team.
Has having PKU ever held Nick back?
Nick does not think PKU has held him back from anything. The only thing would be trying different foods, but he doesn’t mind. He is happy to follow his low protein diet knowing that it will help him keep strong and healthy.
What challenges does Nick face having PKU?
Having to follow such a restricted diet while travelling is difficult, but Nick’s biggest challenge being so active is ensuring he gets enough calories. To meet his protein and calorie needs, Nick takes 5 to 6 Lophlex LQ Juicy Berries a day. He doesn’t mind taking his supplement and knows that taking it helps him focus and perform better both at school and in basketball.
What is Nick’s favourite food?
Chips. Nick loves cooking chips and hash browns. He is working on increasing his range of low protein recipes, but luckily he has his mum and dad at home to cook him some delicious meals such as pastas, vegetable pie and risotto.
How do Nick’s friends feel about PKU?
Nick has a strong friendship group, including friends from school and basketball. Nick and his best friend Keenan are inseparable and have been friends since they were 5 years old. Nick’s friends don’t see him as being any different. His close friends understand PKU and are very supportive and accommodating. When going out for food, they always make sure they go somewhere there are options for Nick.
Nick’s Basketball Trip to America
Nick toured America last year in a representative Australian team. Nick spent 4 weeks traveling in America – playing 14 games all up and training most days. It was a very exhausting trip! Nick’s team came up against some tough competition – his team came third in one tournament which was a fantastic result! On the trip, Nick got to watch some NBA games, train with American varsity players and learnt a lot about playing college basketball.
Nick’s mum traveled with him, helping him to organise all his low protein food and supplements. Nick is taking 5-6 Juicys a day so moving all the luggage from one spot to the next was definitely challenging.
Nick had the best time of his life (so far!) on the trip, playing his favourite sport and making new friends. He found the trip a rewarding experience – it helped build his confidence and reinforced the importance of his PKU diet.
Nick hopes to play college basketball and is a great example that having PKU provides no limitations in doing what you want and achieving your goals!
If you would like to share a story about yourself or living with PKU, get in touch with PKU Connect by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.