Jesse Catron’s Story

My name is Jesse Catron, I am 18 years old. On October 17th 2008 I was diagnosed with AML Leukemia at age 16. That day was the hardest day for my family and I. The doctors told us I only had 45 days to live without treatment.

Having cancer has changed my life in so many ways. Because of the chemo, I was unable to go to a public highschool or have the normal teenage life. I wasn’t able to go out to a movie or outing with my friends because my immune system was so low.

Arielle Gaines’ Story

Hello my name is Arielle Gaines and I am 16 years old. I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in November of 2009. Since my diagnosis my life has changed not only for me but also for my family, and my friends. Cancer has caused my family financial difficulties, and the medication that I am required to take is very expensive. I have not been able to socialize with my friends since cancer.

I hope to receive a gift from Nicki. What I would wish for is to have my cell phone paid for one year so that I can stay in contact with my friends. A gift would really mean a lot, as it would take the burden off my family. Thank you for this opportunity of possibly granting my wish.

Mario’s Story

Hi, I’m Mario and I was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma cancer stage IV at sixteen. I was required to be on a rigorous 60-week clinical trial treatment plan that consisted of chemotherapy, radiation and surgeries. After my treatments ended in June 2008, remaining tumors were on my lungs. November 2008 the tumors were surgically removed, and found to be benign. I have had a total of eight surgeries, my final two on March 6, 2009.

Alexis’ Story

Being diagnosed with cancer on September 2, 2008, changed my life for eternity and surprisingly in a positive and negative way. Even though my body was not in an ideal state, it was not 100%, it was changing monthly if not daily, and I managed to continue thinking positive thoughts about my situation. Having to fight cancer and all of its effects, allowed me to understand the importance of relationships and build a lasting bond with my family, friends, doctors and nurses. The relationships I formed have opened doors of opportunity.
My cancer diagnosis came during the start of my junior year of high school. Unlike most juniors in high school that had the opportunity to attend classis, my junior year was full of sickness, hospital visits, chemo drugs, shots every day, pills, wheel chairs, creams, and one extensive surgery. I returned in my senior year ready to graduate with honors and experience every event made available by Fleming Island High School. Not to mention I had to prepare for attending the University of Central Florida.

Mia’s Story

My name is Mia; I’m seventeen years old, and I’m from Jacksonville, FL. As a teenager you sometimes think you’re immortal and nothing bad can happen to you, but I know otherwise.

September 2009, I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. I have a desmoplastic small round cell tumor, and I’m currently undergoing chemotherapy, and radiation, and will undergo a surgery in April.

Since being diagnosed, cancer has changed my life in many ways. I can’t go to school as much as I would like to, and I can’t physically do everything my brain wants to do. Cancer had definitely changed my life, but not all of it is bad; having cancer brought my mom and me a lot closer. I have a single mom, and an older brother in college, so I realize how important education is. Unfortunately, it’s hard to stay focused and on track in school, because of all the doctor visits, hospital stays and sick days.

Stephanie’s Story

My name is Stephanie. I am a senior at Foothill Technology High School. I was diagnosed with a brain tumor in the sixth grade that left me legally blind. Two years later, that tumor came back, and he brought friends. I had five in my brain and seven in my spine. I was diagnosed with cancer and was treated with chemotherapy for three years. Cancer has changed my life in both positive and a few negative ways. I have become a spokesperson for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in many ways. I spoke at the Bogart Foundation here in California . I have spoken at Relay for Life with the American Cancer Society. Although my sight is limited, I have lost no vision.

Cynthia Colello’s Story

Cynthia sent her application to us on June 3, 2008. By the time Cynthia’s application came up to receive a gift form The Nicki Leach Foundation we were told by her mother that she had passed on. Cynthia’s mother gave her permission for us to post her late daughters letter to our web site in hopes that her daughters passing will bring awareness to our need for awareness and support. We get so many applications and we cannot fulfill the desperate request for help due to lack of funding. Every year we loose young lives, we have lost three more of our young adults this year.

Patrice Rubin’s Story

Hello, My name is Patrice Rubin. I’m 19 years old and I was diagnosed with AML leukemia since December 23, 2006. I was attending Grambling State University during the fall of 2006 and had to drop out of school, and then I attended summer school in 2007 during my first remission. I completed the fall term of 2007 but my cancer returned during the spring term 2008.

Hunter Durfee’s Story

My experiences with cancer have impacted my life in several ways, forever changing my outlook on life and the opportunities I plan to pursue. When I was first diagnosed with Leukemia I was eleven. I knew my life would be altered temporarily, but was young and believed life world return to normal after treatment. After relapsing from my Leukemia in my central nervous system two and a half years ago, I understood life for me would never be the same.

Camille’s Story

On March 28, 2007 I was diagnosed with stage 3 (probable invasive mammary cancer) in my right breast. At the time of my diagnosis I was 21 years old and with a one year old daughter to care for. All I could think about was if I die who will care for my daughter. Look forward to living your life with cancer, not for the cancer. Cancer is only a disease that we some time’s allow to take over our mind body and spirit.

After informing my parent and boyfriend of my horrifying news I found strength in their love, wisdom and faith. My dad says that “God will only put on you what you can bear”.

My mother always tells me “I pray that you find rest and healing in the arms of our Heavenly Father”. In order to get through your cancer diagnosis you must surround yourself with positive energy.