Strong Like Ak

remembering Adam M. Kincaid

A warrior Never worries about his fears.

                                          - Carlos Castaneda

 Adam was an active and healthy teen who had a zest for life. He loved hanging out with his friends, playing sports, and was an avid gamer in the PC gaming world. He had a taste for the finer things when it came to food and travel. He was an amazing big brother to his three siblings, a wonderful son, and an amazing friend to all who knew him. 

 Adam was diagnosed in May of 2019 after several doctor and ER visits with NUT Carcinoma. NUT Carcinoma is a rare and genetically defined cancer that can form anywhere in the body, but normally is found in the head, neck or lungs. NUT Carcinoma is a very aggressive disease and is known to be resistant to treatment. Adam's primary tumor was said to be in his left lung, but at the time it was discovered it had metastasized to his spine and hips. The prognosis did not look good. The median survival rate was 6-7 months after diagnosis and with no known plan for treatment Adam and our family set out on a journey that only God could guide.

Adam's diagnosis landed us at Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte, NC where we were surrounded by an amazing team of doctors and staff.  He had immediate surgery to repair his spine where a tumor had taken over and destroyed his vertebrae. Just shy of his 15th birthday Adam began an aggressive chemo regimen, doctors then set out to remove his entire left lung and repair his pericardium all of which had been consumed by tumors. After a successful surgery he continued on with aggressive chemo only to find after 3 short months it was no longer working. Adam was then referred to a clinical trial at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. Our family was relocated for a month long stay in Boston as Adam began participating in the next steps in his journey. Once a treatment plan was established we were allowed to return home. We then traveled monthly to Boston to check in and receive his medication for treatment. Unfortunately, after 4 months of participating in the clinical trial Adam was met with adversity once again, the treatment was no longer working. With one more option left Adam and our family returned to our home base at Levine Pediatric Cancer and Blood Disorders. Adam began a new treatment which gained us 7 more beautiful months with him. By September Adam began to have significant pain and showed signs of decline. On October 2, 2020, after a courageous 18 month battle, a beautiful soul was taken from us far too soon. Adam passed peacefully at home surrounded by the ones who loved him dearly. 

Strong Like AK was formed upon Adam's initial diagnosis. We needed a way to communicate with the army of support that surrounded Adam and our family. What started as a small group has now blossomed into a community of more than 5,000 supporters. Adam began to touch hearts all over the world, some of which he will never know. So many were in awe of the bravery and stoicism Adam showed throughout his journey. Three words often stand out when thinking of Adam and his journey: Strength, Love, and Unity. He was one of the STRONGEST you would ever meet who had an abundance of LOVE for life, friends, and family. The UNITY between our blended family throughout this journey is something we consider very special and something Adam was very proud of.

These three words serve as a foundation of the support Strong Like AK has to offer so many throughout the pediatric cancer community. We are thankful for our army of supporters and are looking forward to a bright future of supporting pediatric cancer patients and families within our community while honoring the life and memory of Adam M. Kincaid.