When Nicole "Niki" Webb was just 10 years old, her mother, Denise Jiles, was diagnosed with breast cancer. After 11 hours of surgery, mom's double mastectomy was over.
"I remember walking into the hostpital room and she was just balling," Niki said.
It was now an 10 year olds turn to take care of mom.
"I'd go to school and then come home and cook or clean and just make sure she was comfortable. I'd go the doctor's appointments with her when I could," Niki said.
“For a 10 year old to show such commitment and concern truly amazed me," Denise said. "Niki took care of everything. She would rush home from school to assist with the household chores and sat with me in the hospital through all my treatments. I do not know what I would have done without Niki by my side.
"She even got me my Ben & Jerry's," Denise laughed.
Doctors made new breasts out of Denise's belly fat.
"I got new boobies and a tummy tuck at the same time," she said.
That was 12 years ago. And now what Niki remembers most is her mom's courage and sense of humor.
"She's a strong woman," she said. "She my hero, and my best friend."
On May 12, the maker of Vanity Fair® napkins honored Niki, of Newnan, as the Vanity Fair® Co-Survivor in Atlanta. Niki’s mother, Denise, of , nominated her daughter to receive this honor as a way to show her appreciation for the care Niki provided during her breast cancer battle more than 12 years ago.
“Niki’s ability to selflessly support her mother at a time when she was needed most speaks volumes about her character and love for her mother,” said Lisa Silverboard of Georgia-Pacific, the maker of Vanity Fair® napkins. “We are proud to offer Denise the opportunity to honor her daughter and support the continued fight to find a cure for this disease.”
Denise is doing well today and said her health is phenomenal. She said she used to avoid events like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in the past because she thought they'd be depressing.
"It's actually gratifying," she said. "Everyone's walking around having a great time with a smile on their face. I plan to do more now."
For the ninth year in a row Georgia-Pacific, the maker of Vanity Fair®, has teamed up as a national partner for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure ®, the largest series of 5K runs/fitness walks in the world, with 1.5 million participants each year. The Komen Race for the Cure® series raises significant funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer, celebrates breast cancer survivorship and honors those who have lost their battle with the disease.
Niki, who is currently carrying Denise's third grandbaby, says she only gets to see mom about once a week but they are planning a vacation together in July to Panama City.