May 27-June 2 at RA Sushi locations nationwide. Click on image to learn more.

It’s Nicky’s Week once again at all RA Sushi locations in Arizona, Maryland, California, Florida and five states in between. All proceeds from select menu items May 27-June 2 will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a leading source of pediatric cancer treatment and research.

Nicky Mailliard would be 20 right now had the former Bl. Pope John XXIII student not lost a long battle with brain cancer in 2005. The fundraiser is in his memory.

Here is an excerpt about the event posted on our blog in 2010. It shows just how far this boy’s name and his family’s mission to support St. Jude goes:

I just returned from a rather unusual vacation involving three one-way flights.

For once, I put work completely on hold and instead of writing during take off on the first leg, I thumbed through the airline magazine. I reached page 20 as the plane lifted off the ground and paused to quiz my young traveling companion on number recognition, for the ad on the opposite page advertised some sort of sixth (displayed as “6th”) annual event.

Thanks to some incorrect guesses on the number — color answers came out instead — I happened to read the rest of the ad. Lo and behold, I recognized the ad’s photo from an article a co-worker wrote during my early days at The Catholic Sun.

I read the short verbiage just to confirm that it indeed was Nicky Mailliard, a former Pope John XXIII student in the photo. He lost a four-year battle with brain cancer in 2005 and we published the same courtesy photo used in the ad.

Turns out I had all but forgotten about the annual Nicky’s Week. RA Sushi bar and restaurant — Mailliard’s uncle is among its founders — will donate all proceeds from the sale of select menu items to fund cancer research and treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. There’s a host of other sponsors for the event and diners can find their nearest RA Sushi in Arizona, on both coasts and six other states in between.

So, if you’re in the mood for sushi and would like to support a much-needed charity while you’re at it, head to RA Sushi. Select menu items will feed your body as well as feed the “kitty” aiding St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Nicky’s legacy still lives on outside of the special week that honors his memory.

  • Bl. Pope John XXIII named its basketball gym after him
  • His parents established the Nicky Mailliard Fund through Phoenix’s Catholic Community Foundation shortly after his death. See page 4 of CCF’s newsletter from 2005. Funds support the school and local hospitals and nonprofits that support sick children and the dieing.

The Phoenix Diocese has lost other young Catholics to cancer over the years:

  • Most recently was Arie Fitzhugh, a St. Mary-Basha graduate who went on to finish at Seton Catholic Preparatory High School last year. He battled cancer throughout his senior year and finally lost the fight earlier this month. Here is what his friends had to say about him.
  • The Catholic community rallied around Ethan Mills and Julia Hillebrand in the fall of 2009 raising $30,000 during one benefit concert. Mills, 19, died the following summer (view his guestbook) and Hillebrand, 12, six months after that.
    Here’s her tribute video featuring lyrics she wrote before her diagnosis. St. Timothy School in Mesa, where Hillebrand was a student, dedicated a memorial archway last May in her honor. Every student, including Hillebrand, creating a tile for the archway.