Hope for Nikki Brakke

My sister, Nikki Brakke, is facing a challenge that no 21-year-old should ever have to face. She has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She is a wonderful single mom to her 20-month-old son, Elliott. She works hard as a CNA, often picking up extra shifts to support him. Her love for those she cares for is evident to them and those who are blessed to work with her.

Nikki was enrolled for prerequisite coursework this fall so that she can apply for nursing school, but that will now have to be put on hold. After discovering three lumps in her neck, she went to the walk-in clinic, and they referred her to an ENT specialist. Last week she had outpatient surgery to remove one of them so that it could be biopsied, and two days later received the devastating news that she has Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Nikki had additional diagnostic testing done this week, including a bone marrow biopsy, CT scan, pulmonary testing, echocardiogram, and PET scan. She will start chemotherapy in just over a week, and once results are in from the tests performed this week we'll know more.

For those of you that know Nikki, you know she has a heart of gold and that providing for and being there for her son are the most important things to her. Nikki has insurance, but she is currently restricted from working and does not yet know when she'll be medically released to return. Even a small amount of time away from work for a young single mom can be overwhelming financially.

Please consider making a difference in Nikki's and Elliott's lives by making a financial contribution; even small donations can make a HUGE difference. More importantly, your prayers for her health are appreciated. Thank you for giving hope and being the light! She is a fighter and she will be a survivor!

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Jessica Brakke 
Billings Metropolitan Area, MT
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