Wife and Moffitt Team Member
Nikki spotted her future husband Kevin as she was looking through a yearbook in eighth grade. After dating and a full year of military duty, Kevin proposed, making her prediction come true. What Nikki couldn’t have predicted was that 20 years later, with six children between them, Kevin would be diagnosed with cancer.
He had no family history of the disease. So when his doctor noticed a suspicious mass, Kevin had no inkling it could be cancer. A year later, with severe discomfort, his doctor advised him to get a biopsy—and warned that if it was cancer, he may lose his leg.
As Kevin recalls, “This was not an option for me.” But the doctor had an idea that would change everything. “He looks me in the eye and he says, ‘No, there’s hope. At Moffitt they’re doing awesome things with this type of cancer.’” It was the news he needed to hear.
After having the biopsy at Moffitt Cancer Center, he was told by his surgeon Dr. Letson that he wouldn’t lose his leg. Kevin calls it a blessing that he was able to walk out after surgery on his own two feet.
Shortly after, he had a recurrence, the sarcoma in his pelvis had spread to his lungs. But another surgery and the optimism from his Moffitt team helped him beat the cancer. “One of the greatest things about them,” he says, “is you never see a discouraged face or lack of hope.”
At the time Nikki had been working at Moffitt as a refund analyst “behind the scenes.” But after Kevin’s treatment, her perspective changed. “What am I here for?” she began asking herself. She started volunteering, and applied for a position in the business office where she now sees patients and hears their stories. “You’re dealing with people in front of you who just want somebody to listen to them…and I haven’t regretted it a day since I started.”
Nikki and Kevin found their courage by leaning on each other. “I stayed strong because of Kevin,” Nikki says. “He never complained.” But they also had the support of their Moffitt team and their six amazing kids. “You have to dig deep, Kevin says. “When you have a team, people like that around you and family members as I have, it’s really not that hard to build up courage.”