MASSILLON — When you walk the hallways at Perry High School in Massillon, there is definitely someone missing.
On Monday, Nate Baker, 14, passed away after a battle with cancer. His closest friends are back at school, learning a cruel lesson about death.
“Fighting so hard for 18 months, he really gave it his all,” said Aaron O’Brien.
WKYC’s John Anderson met with a group of Nate’s closest friends and, in one afternoon, they shared laughs and talked about the good times, like back in kindergarten.
“I remember the first time I met him was in baseball, and he asked if he could borrow my glove and we got into a fight over it, and we could laugh about it now,” said Austin Temsey.
“We talked about Nate’s illness, something he didn’t talk about,” said Alex Tolin.
“He was always up and he never wanted you to know that he was sick. He always wanted you to know he was normal Nate, that nothing was wrong,” said Austin Temsey.
And they shared tears.
Austin Sandershawkins has known Nate since the third grade, and remembers a special trip they took to South Carolina two months ago.
Austin said they talked about girls, video games, and just had a blast.
Because his illness took over, Nate never started the 9th grade at Perry High School.
But the school is holding his funeral services Saturday morning in the school’s gym.
His friends say that is the proper place for them to say goodbye.