The Nicki Leach Foundation
61 Maple Street, Box 973
Summit, New Jersey 07902
(904) 716-5394
 
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Lindsey's Story

Originally from Valley City , ND I moved to Fargo , ND in the fall of 2005 to begin my life as a college student in pursuit of obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Business Management. Since that time I have taken classes at NDSU, MSUM and MSCTC.

During my freshmen year at NDSU I realized the campus was just too big for me so fall of 2006 I transferred to MSUM and MSCTC. I was really looking forward to the beginning of a new year, on a smaller campus. I registered for fall classes and it seemed to me the change to a smaller environment was a better fit so I then registered for spring semester.

Spring semester started as quickly as it ended. Here is my story… February 3ed, 2007 I was invited to attend a social outing with some friends. About 11pm I began experiencing a “different” feeling, one that I'd never experienced before so I decided it would be best to end the night early.In the early morning hours of February 4 th I found myself lying in an emergency room bed at MeritCare Hospital in Fargo , unsure of the events that brought me there. My parents arrived within 25 minutes of receiving a call from my boyfriend whom had shared what he thought was a seizure. After several tests it was determined that I had a brain tumor and would require surgery to determine the outcome of this tumor.On February 6 th I underwent major surgery in which the surgeon felt he was able to remove the entire tumor. I didn't get to go home and come back for the surgery; I was in the hospital for a week and didn't know what was to come. A few days following, the biopsy revealed very unwelcome news. News I'd always hoped I wouldn't hear in my lifetime. Cancer! I was diagnosed with Glioblastoma multiforme stage 4. At this point my mom was balling, I had to say to her: “Mom! Stop crying, I'm not crying, now stop it, I'm going to get through it, I'm strong enough for us all. Everything is going to work out in the end.” I would sometimes think to myself that there was a decent chance of me getting cancer with it being prevalent in family history (dad's side: dad's sister, dad's mother, dad's niece, and dad's aunt)…with my family having such a strong history of cancer, I knew that road ahead would become challenging and uncertain at times. I remained under the care of the hospital staff for several days then returned to my family home in Valley City so that I could receive round the clock medical care. At this time, I was in the middle of a move to a new apartment, so luckily for my family, mostly everything was already packed. After being out of the nest for 2 years, I wasn't liking the idea of going back to live with mom and dad.Mid February I began daily treatments and 60-mile one-way trips to Fargo for radiation and chemotherapy. I began to lose my hair after the 4 th week of radiation. I then demanded that I go shopping to get a wig within the next two days. Not having hair was a major obstacle for me, quite emotional. A girl loves to have hair to style and without it, this isn't quite possible. Even with a wig I was limited. I needed this ASAP because I was still an active college student who was just on medical leave from classes! So, grandma and I went wig shopping and she bought one for me! One thing that I realized after loosing my hair was that it was something that I always took for granted. Also, not being able to drive “for a year” due to a seizure even harder for me. I didn't think that being able to have the freedom of going where I want, when I want was so valuable. Lucky for me, I was given my driving privileges back about a month ago and loving every minute of it. I often remind myself how convenient it is. However, paying for the gas and insurance is something I don't miss. I look back at the pictures that were taken days before my diagnosis and realized that my hair want as bad as I thought. My hair is growing back now and I am now able to go without the wig OR bandana daily for a good 5 months.I continue to receive maintenance chemotherapy once every six weeks to ensure the cancer remains in remission. While my cancer remains a health concern now, and quite possibly into my future, I believe that keeping my life as normal as possible will be my best treatment in restoring my health. As I continue ongoing chemotherapy I know at times I will not be strong enough to attend school AND maintain a job.Everyone asks me how I keep such a normal life and not look down on the fact that I am living with cancer. I continue to tell them “Cancer is not a death sentence. I'm not going to let it run my life. I am going to get through it. For now it is just a bump in the road that God has placed upon me. I'm going to beat this thing and live to tell my story for years to come.”In doing research for foundations like yours, I have realized that if it wouldn't have been for your foundation I would not be where I am today. I have used the money you've given me to pay for rent and such. Having a “real job” right now seems impossible; I have more important things to worry about right now! I just want to thank you once again, you have changed my life. Without your help, I don't know where I would be! Please know that your contribution has not gone unappreciated.Love,Lindsay Sauer“ God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the thing I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”