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.

Cynthia’s Story

As I think back over the last three years and ask myself the vital question of how cancer has changed my life, I find that it has had both positive and negative effects in so many, many areas. My plans to graduate college early and immediately enter a teaching credential program have been delayed numerous times, and continue to be delayed as I will spend the coming semester recovering from my second stem cell transplant. Scars cross the expanse of my torso now, reminding me daily of the journey that has been so difficult. But I am so blessed with a profound sense of wonder, at how I have been spared the dark journey to death that so many of my fellow patients were not fortunate enough to escape. I find that the priorities in my life have shifted, and that developing close, personal relationships with those I encounter is far more important than simply meeting people so that I may count them among my “friends.” Cancer has taught me that hardship cannot be evaded by anyone, and we each have our own unique experiences and stories to share. Cancer has brought my family closer (particularly myself and my mom, who stayed with me in the hospital), and brought my brother to a faith in Christ. I fight daily to remove myself from the jaded view of daily miracles that surround all of us.

If I were to receive a gift from Nicki, it would probably be used towards paying off my student loans, which cannot be deferred any longer, and which most of the $650.00 I receive from social security goes towards paying. I would also contribute some of the money to pay for the gas in my moms car, as I still travel weekly to my doctor’s office, an over two hour round trip.

Thank you so much for you consideration and for keeping the amazing memory of your daughter, Nicki alive through the generosity of this foundation.

Cynthia Colello

Note from Cynthia’s mother:

When I am over this initial time of grief I will be helping the Donor Bank, to be a spokesperson for all those who need hope and a voice to reach those who don’t even know of the need of so many with cancer and other diseases. It is a shame that the government doesn’t better fund this critical area of cancer treatment research, and because of this most people aren’t aware of the simplicity of being registered in the unrelated donor bank. I know we had never heard of it until Cynthia became ill and had the need of a transplant.