No one ever ever expects to hear the words, “you have cancer.” Especially as a teenager. But unfortunately for all too many, it happens. The unfortunate thing about cancer is that it does not discriminate. Young, old, black, white, human, canine, feline–cancer knows no bounds.
You certainly don’t expect to hear those words when you are an involved and active 16 year old at South River Senior High School. But, that is exactly what Candice Nice heard in late March of 2013.
Now, Candice is busy fighting off the cancer with a vengeance, but she is not doing it alone–not by any means. Her family and friends are right there beside her as she fights the Hodgkin’s lymphoma–in fact it was a friend that may have spotted it in the first place.
Candice was hanging out with a friend (as all teens do) when her friend noticed some bruising on her neck. Candice told her mother, who set the ball in motion in a whirlwind of doctors appointments, a biopsy, a lymph node removal and a diagnosis all happened within two weeks. The medical community rallied around Candice and made sure that treatment was swift. When she first found out she was scared, then angry. After a few days she became determined to make it through her treatment with class.
The school community did not sit idly by either. Candice’s friends have been there every step of the way. They accompany her to chemotherapy; they have held her hand while she cut her hair and when she shaved it; and they went wig shopping. They put together a fundraiser at South River where others could have their own hair cut, trimmed or shaved for $10. The idea came from Mrs. Szanyi, a FACS teacher at the school. She contacted the local Hair Cuttery and had a team of stylists on hand one Thursday night. 100% of the proceeds went to help Candice.
“At this age, your friends are everything and her friends have been absolutely amazing.”
–Bronica Nice, Candice’s mother
“This is going to be like a bad break up, I will feel like crap for a while and things will get better and I will go on with my life and everything will be okay.”
While insurance will be taking care of most of the cost, Candice has decided to turn her journey into one to help others. Her mom, Bronica Nice said, “She likes to play the “cancer card”,as she calls it, at home a lot to get out of doing chores, or to get something she wants ,but other than that she definitely does not play the victim.” In fact, she wants to show other children that they can make it though cancer treatment and still have fun and lead a normal life. She appreciates the support system offered by her family, school and friends and wants to help other children who may not be as fortunate as she is. According to her mom, “she actually told me a few weeks ago that she was glad that she got cancer and not someone else who does not have the family and friends that she has.” And what is Candice’s take on all of this? “This is going to be like a bad break up, I will feel like crap for a while and things will get better and I will go on with my life and everything will be okay.”
For those who would like to support Candice in her fight against cancer; Candice, her family and friends encourage you to make a pledge to the American Cancer Society — Relay For Life – WALK 4 CANDICE NICE. And if you can, come out to South River High School on June 7th and lend some support to those who are helping to beat, have beaten, and are beating cancer.