Local pizzeria holds fundraiser for employee with stage four cancer

Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 10:46 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Some see it as a slice of Brooklyn, but for Nick’s employees, it’s a slice of family.

“It’s nice that people care and they’re there for me,” Denny Bowers said.

Denny worked at Nick’s Slice of Brooklyn Pizzeria and Bar off and on for three years. He was diagnosed with stage four germ cell cancer on January 15th. That was also his 21st birthday.

“You know, how do you react to a kid with a cancer diagnosis?” Denny’s long-time neighbor Garth Sinclair said.

Sinclair was one of the many who couldn’t believe the diagnosis.

“It took everybody by surprise,” owner Nick Defilippis said.

Nick said while they build pizzas, they’re also building bonds.

“Denny, all my employees here, we love them like family,” said Nick.

After five blood transfusions, two weeks in the ICU, and chemotherapy, Denny said the bills are a burden. Tuesday, Nick’s pizzeria donated all of its proceeds for the day to Denny’s family. Nick says one slice will go a long way towards Denny’s medical bills and that’s why he’ll serve up whatever it takes to support his family. And without knowing how long the chemotherapy will last, Denny and his mom, Fachon Irber, said they’re just grateful for any help.

“It touches our heart and we’re overwhelmed with thankfulness and so thankful for all the people who have helped us,” said Fachon.

Denny takes 10 medications and has made a lot of progress since his last treatment. Nick wants Denny to know they’ll do whatever it takes to get him back to work.

“Don’t make me start crying, because I’m going to cry. He’s family to us,” said Nick.

Nick said every slice of pizza is made with love and that love Tuesday is for Denny.

Denny said he’s been feeling all the effects of chemotherapy since starting it. If you couldn’t make it out for pizza Tuesday, you can donate to Denny Bower’s GoFundMe.

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