MILTON — Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office Deputy Nic Hubbard started a clinical trial cancer treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland on Jan. 8. Not only is this his second battle with cancer this year, but he is among the three percent of the population that chemotherapy cannot help.
Lauren Hubbard discussed her husband's situation by phone from Baltimore. Not all the news has been bad. The couple had a son named Logan in February and they bought a home in March. In May, Nic was diagnosed with cancer.
Nic decided on chemotherapy treatment because doctors told him they had caught the cancer in time. According to Lauren, he suffered through the treatments, having to be hospitalized several times because of reactions to the chemotherapy.
An October PET scan showed the cancer in remission, but two weeks later Nic developed the same symptoms that lead to the initial diagnosis. He was diagnosed with Primary Refractory Disease Hodgkins Lymphoma — an aggressive form of cancer, Lauren said.
Doctors in Pensacola told the couple they could not treat Nic locally because his diagnosis always leads to a bone marrow transplant. They turned to Johns Hopkins Hospital, one of the top five in the country and it had a clinical cancer trial treatment for Nic's exact type of cancer.
Lauren said her husband has been screened and accepted into the clinical trial. His first treatment was on Jan. 8. The trial uses dual action amino therapy. Part one of the drugs breaks down cancer cells to weaken them. The second part of the drug jump-starts his immune system using the patient's own body to fight the cancer Lauren said.
"When we looked at our son, both of us realized this isn't good or this could potentially not be good," Lauren said of her husband’s medical condition.
"We have collectively decided, worst case scenario, that if this is going to kill him, we don't want to spend this last year with Logan being sad," Lauren said. "We go for walks, spend time going to the zoo. We enjoy life and enjoy each other."
Nic is on family medical leave now. When it runs out, Sheriff Bob Johnson said he would keep Nic on at his current pay. The sheriff said it was his prerogative in these kinds of cases.
"We are going to ride it out with him," Sheriff Johnson said.
Nic and family are living in MD with Lauren's mother. Lauren said she hopes to be home by Christmas.
This first responder family now needs help. The sheriff's office has a gun fundraiser raffling a $900 FN509 tactical 9MM pistol donated by Gulf Cost Guns and ticket printed free by Trent's Prints. The drawing is Feb. 14. For more information call 850-981-2114.
Nic's sister also started a GoFundMe page for the family in March when he was first diagnosed at https://www.gofundme.com/deputy-hubbard-srco-cancer-expenses.