Chesapeake Eagle Scout's project helps lift spirits of terminally ill children

Kathy Van Mullekom, The Virginian-Pilot
Austin Gies enjoys chemistry, thermodynamics and physics – topics that will help him become an engineer after college. But for now, Austin, a junior at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, has channeled that curiosity into an Eagle Scout service project involving patients at Edmarc Hospice for Children in Portsmouth.
“I wanted them to experience the jovial feeling I always have when I am in science class,” said Austin, a member of Troop 212, which meets in Western Branch.

In 2014, Austin saw firsthand how seriously ill children can feel isolated and cut off from everyday life when he had appendicitis that kept him hospitalized for nine days at the Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters. While recuperating on the floor with children who had cancer, he met a 10-year-old who had lived only two weeks of his life outside a hospital.
“Because of them, I never felt pity for myself, and I kept my condition in perspective,” he said. “They truly inspired me because those children are probably ... the strongest and bravest people I have ever met. To continue reading the article in the Virginian-Pilot, please click here.
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy is a coeducational, college preparatory private school located in Suffolk, VA. Pre-kindergarten - Grade 12.