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Finding Courage: Nick’s Story with City of Hope

By June 7, 2024No Comments

Sprinkled around the country with locations in Duarte, Phoenix, Atlanta, and Chicago lie beacons of hope and healing: City of Hope Hospital. With its towering buildings and bustling corridors, this renowned medical center stands as a testament to innovation, compassion, and unwavering dedication to patient care. For decades, City of Hope has been at the forefront of pioneering research, groundbreaking treatments, and transformative care, earning its place as a leading institution in the fight against cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases. 

In anticipation of City of Hope’s annual Home Furnishings Industry Golf Tournament, we sat down with Nick Cruz, a valued member of the Esquire team, to learn more about how his family’s story has been intertwined with the mission and impact of City of Hope.

Q & A with Nick Cruz 

How has Esquire come to be involved with City of Hope? 
Before arriving at Esquire, our company had not participated in City of Hope events, not because the company didn’t want to, but simply because we hadn’t been invited to any of the events. In 2023, we were finally invited and participated in the golf tournament as both players and sponsors. Later that October, when I invited Eric Grindley, our CEO, and Adam Ball, our Sales Executive to a City of Hope at High Point, they were blown away at everything the City of Hope does. Not just from treatment, but the research and development that goes into devices used by hospitals all over the world. They realized then, that by supporting the City of Hope, they were influencing care and treatment all over the world. Adam has since joined the committee and has developed a strong passion for bringing new items to the silent auction through his personal and professional connections.  

How were you first introduced to City of Hope? 
Interesting story here. In 2019, at 33 years old and in a new role at a new company, I was asked to volunteer at the City Of Hope West Coast Golf &Tennis Tournament by a co-worker at the time, Mike Genrich. He brought me to one of the meetings at the AICO office. I loved how everyone was participating in something they truly believed in; exhausting every resource they had, personal and professional, for City of Hope. The passion that came through every meeting was admirable. While I knew I didn’t have a Rolodex like some members, I wanted to help however I could. During the meetings, I often heard, “You never know when you might need City of Hope, but when that time comes, you will be glad you have them to turn to.” At 36, I felt my time would likely be decades away. 

My middle daughter, Charlotte, who was 4 at the time, was in the Abrazo ER over a weekend for a fever that wasn’t going away with children’s Tylenol and Motrin. They did a COVID test, urinalysis, and a chest X-ray. Everything came back negative. She was given a diagnosis of “some virus” and a dose of adult Tylenol. At first that morning, she seemed to return to being her usual self, but she quickly spiked another fever and didn’t feel like playing by early afternoon. That Sunday, my wife, Jess (a nurse), and I traded off laying next to Charlotte and tending to her. Jess decided to sleep with Charlotte to monitor her while she slept. She said, “If her fever reaches 104+, I am taking her to Banner Children’s Hospital.” She woke me up in the middle of the night, saying, “Charlotte’s fever won’t go away, and I need to take her in.” 

It was January 18th, 2022 (MLK Day). I woke our other two daughters, got them ready, and friends of ours said I could drop them off at their house so I could see Jess and Char in the hospital. I had just dropped off the girls and was about 5 minutes into the 35-minute drive to the hospital when my whole world was turned upside down, and I was rattled by fear that I can still feel today. I received a call from Jess, and I could tell she was fighting back the urge to break down, “They are seeing blasts in her blood and saying she probably has leukemia.” I’m not in the medical field but I had listened to enough stories to know what a “blast” was. I knew my daughter likely had some form of cancer. I cried the entire way to the hospital while calling my parents, friends, and work. 

Once I arrived at the hospital, Jess and I realized we needed help, and lots of it. My first call for help was to none other than Rick Powell. “Rick, I need your help. They are saying my 4-year-old daughter has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. I don’t know what to do other than to call you and ask for help.” (I said sobbingly.)

That day, when everything was unknown, speculative, and absolute chaos, we received calls and texts from the City of Hope. One call that stands out was when the Head of Pediatric Leukemia at City of Hope reached out to Jess. He calmed the fears she had as a medical professional. He expressed that if Jess had any questions or wanted him to review Charlotte’s chart, he was calling from his personal cell phone and that he would be available whenever she needed him. 

I couldn’t believe how quickly City of Hope stepped in to help my family. Within minutes of calling Rick, the head of pediatric oncology from City of Hope was calling our hospital to talk to our doctors and Jess to ensure that our daughter was being taken care of. In our time of feeling absolutely helpless, help arrived rapidly. I finally understood what all the members at the City Of Hope West Coast Golf & Tennis Tournament were talking about during their testimonials.

How has working with City of Hope through your daughter’s treatments impacted your family’s involvement? 
We will never forget the acts of kindness and voices of strangers who came to us in a time of need. Charlotte won’t understand until she is much older, but Jess and I will continue to be a part of this great organization for as long as the good Lord will let us. I participate by playing golf and recruiting more people to join this cause, and Jess participates by working the course on the day of the event.

About City of Hope

Established in 1913, City of Hope began its journey with just two canvas cottages, marking the start of a century-long odyssey that has propelled it to the forefront of the nation’s medical and research landscape. Throughout the decades, City of Hope’s research has been pivotal in driving significant advancements in modern medicine, including pioneering the development of synthetic human insulin, the human growth hormone, and the technology underpinning several widely utilized cancer-fighting medications such as Herceptin®, Rituxan®, Erbitux®, and Avastin®.

Today, City of Hope stands tall as a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute. It also holds the distinction of being a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a consortium dedicated to advancing research and treatment protocols nationwide. In 2022, the integration of Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) into City of Hope forged a unified front, combining the unparalleled expertise of both entities under the esteemed City of Hope cancer care system.

The visionary spirit that ignited City of Hope’s inception a century ago remains steadfast today as they continue to lead the charge against cancer. Each day, they push the boundaries of cancer research and treatment, ushering in new breakthroughs that instill fresh hope in patients across the globe.

31st Annual International Home Furnishings Industry West Coast Golf & Tennis Tournament 
This year, the tournament will be held on Monday, June 10th at Coto De Caza Golf & Racquet Club. During the event reception, there will be a live and silent auction taking place. Donating to this cause fuels scientific discovery and raises funds for cutting- edge research that will continue to lead toward more effective treatments.

Get Involved 
You can get involved by giving blood or by donating financially through donations or fundraising. For more information, visit City Of Hope’s Website    

About Esquire Advertising

Esquire Advertising is an ad tech company based out of Raleigh, NC that is pushing the limits of advertising performance. Founded in 2012, we have a full-service, in-house advertising and marketing agency that specializes in hyper-targeted, audience-based advertising. We work with a variety of clients to boost their brand awareness, provide in-depth market insights, and produce trackable campaign results through a unique combination of marketing strategies and our proprietary technology. Our company was featured on the Inc. 5000 list for two consecutive years in 2020 and 2021, and we ranked in the top 100 on the Financial Times’ fastest-growing companies in North, Central, and South America in 2022. The Home Furnishings Association (HFA) recently named us the 2023 Retail Partner of the Year. Learn more at and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and Instagram