Scholarship created in wake of Humber student’s passing

by | Mar 25, 2019 | Campus News, News, North

Rachael Taylor,News Reporter

A memorial award has been created by Humber College and the parents of a Funeral Director student who passed away from a lengthy battle with cancer in September 2018.

The award is for students who are in the Funeral Director program and have faced serious health struggles.

Nicholas Greeson, 23, although only at Humber for a short time, died after a lengthy six-year battle with cancer.

A memorial award was created by Humber College for Nicholas Greeson, 23, a Funeral Director student who passed away from a lengthy battle with cancer in September 2018. (Courtesy Tanja Zientara)

Greeson, who was a beloved member of the music community in his hometown of London, Ont., )had a strong desire to work with the bereaved and assist those coping with immense loss. Through the difficulties he faced with his own health battles, he found strength in encouraging and supporting others.

His mother, Tanja Zientara, noted even though he was struggling with his cancer treatment, he had regularly visited the children ward at the Victoria Hospital in London where he was being treated.

“He felt so much compassion for others who were undergoing this type or a different type of hell that he would frequently counsel them, comfort them without telling anyone he did so,” Zientara said.

“I only found out later after he died that he spent a lot of time in pediatric oncology visiting sick children, even when he was sick himself because he realized that he was not the only person who suffered,” she said.

Greeson was a talented man who left behind many holes in many hearts that cease to be filled to this day. Between his mother Zientara, father Matthew Greeson, brother Vince Greeson, widow Alexandra Bruni, and friends, his memory will never be forgotten.

“Nick was admired for his incredible stoicism, courage, and determination to live life to the fullest even when undergoing the most brutal suffering that a human being could withstand for six years during the prime of his life,” Zientara said.

“Even though he relapsed from cancer four times, he never complained, faced his treatment and went on to party, make music, live and laugh,” she said.

He had several bouts of cancers, but the last time he was diagnosed he Greeson had just been accepted to Humber.

His final words to his wife really exemplify Nick’s mensch and bravery.

“Just as he was about to lose consciousness permanently because the cancer was eating his brain and he watched her weeping uncontrollably.  Rather than thinking of himself, he asked her what he could do for her,” Zientara said.

Humber honours his memory with the creation of an award given to students who have also dealt with serious health problems but continue facing life head-on.

“The importance of this scholarship to the family is immense,” Zientara said. “I would say that for us as parents it is a way of keeping Nick’s memory alive while helping out other individuals who have faced challenges in their lives just like Nick.

“We know that this program is something that Nick felt very passionate about which makes the scholarship even more meaningful for us,” she said.

“It is also a way for us to stay connected to people of his generation and see them grow and flourish which is particularly important to us since we are no longer going to have the chance to watch Nick grow and flourish,” she said.

To make a donation to the scholarship fund, people are asked to go to People can learn more about Nick and his scholarship award.