Osmond Nicholas refuses to let anything keep him from experiencing life to the fullest — even brain cancer.
He was just 26 when intense headaches, fatigue, and frequent blackouts prompted him to see his doctor. For several months, specialists struggled to figure out what was causing the California police officer’s pain. When the diagnosis finally arrived in July 2017, Osmond was left in a state of shock.
Doctors told him he had stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme, a rare and deadly form of brain cancer. Even with a prognosis of 12-18 months, Osmond was slow to grasp the severity of the disease.
“I literally thought, I’m young, I have cancer — that means they could probably give me the most chemotherapy and most radiation and I’ll be fine,” he said. “Then my oncologist later broke it down that this is not that type of cancer; it’s a terminal cancer. Sometime, sooner or later, it will come back.”
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At the time, Osmond was at a crossroads. He was due to marry Trinity Daniel, his fiancé, in a few months, but he wasn’t sure that would be fair to her.
“I didn’t really know if I wanted to go through with getting married and put my wife [through becoming] a widow and have a daughter and let her grow up without dad if things went south or how they said it’s supposed to go,” he said. “It was kind of my first leap of faith that I’m going to live my life and live without boundaries and not let cancer take me a day before.”
So in September 2017, after spending almost three weeks in the hospital’s oncology unit due to a bad reaction to chemo, Osmond and Trinity said, “I do.”
Now Osmond uses Optune, a cap he wears 23 hours a day, to treat the glioblastoma. He also receives regular transfusions and brain scans to track any signs of recurrence. While it’s never easy, he’s adapted to the uncertainty of living with a terminal illness — largely because he’s thrown himself into being a dad.
Riyah was born in November 2018, and it was love at first sight! The dedicated dad has never looked back!
“He was more excited, I think, to be a dad, especially when she was born,” Trinity said. “I work usually outside of the home, so he’s the one that’s here with her during the day. He does everything — meals, diapers. I credit him with her learning how to walk and talk because I wasn’t there and she was home with him.”
In October 2019, Osmond fully retired from the police force to focus on raising his little one.
“I just try to even think of it this way — even if I do go in five years, six years, which I’m hoping I don’t … there are kids out there and little daughters out there that don’t have many days with their father — and he’s alive. So I say, hey, now I can give her all my time.”
The amazing dad said having a daughter has changed his outlook on the tenuous hold we all have on life. “I don’t think I see things rosier, but I think I see it more as the perspective of it all comes back to — you can die any day, so live your life for each day, every day.”
Not only is he focusing on making the most of his time, but he’s also encouraging other people with terminal illnesses to embrace hope.
“I believe if I would have said, ‘Hey, I don’t want to have a baby or anything,’ just the stuff that me and my wife kind of planned for — that we knew we both wanted — then I’d be letting cancer win that battle of me living my life,” he explained.
What a powerful perspective! None of us knows how much time we have, so it’s important to live for the moment and focus on what’s most important: love. Thank you for sharing your strength and goodness with the world, Osmond!
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