Nikki Marceus is a medical technician – med tech for short – at The Heron Club at Prestancia, an Assisted Living and Memory Care community in Sarasota.
Nikki loves the seniors she serves.
Nikki is 21 years old and has brain cancer.
Nikki seemingly always wanted to help people. From her earliest memories, she can remember being a helper, but now, at 21 years old, she’s the one needing help.
“I love being able to care for people who need my help,” Nikki said. “This job makes me feel like I make a difference, and I know I make a difference. That’s why I want to study to become a nurse.”
That was last year. This year? She wants to beat cancer.
And so far, she’s doing just that.
Nikki was diagnosed with a brain cancer normally affecting children and is not often found in adults. Medulloblastoma is the official name and it’s a scary-sounding name at that. But let’s be honest, being diagnosed with cancer by any name is a frightening realization of one’s mortality even in the those within an age range who often think they’re invincible.
“She’s going to beat this,” Meredith Humbrecht said. Meredith is the Director of Resident Services at Heron Club and has helped Nikki throughout the entire process. “Nikki’s tough and is a person who won’t give up. She doesn’t give up. She shows up.”
As her 21st birthday approached in February of 2022, so did the delicate brain surgery that would hopefully remove the cancer. Being young has its advantages, but any sort of brain surgery is risky, regardless of age or health.
And as it turns out, the team working on her made good on the results they said were likely but never promised because a surgery like this isn’t rocket science with equations, formulas, and a rigid approach to outcomes. It’s brain surgery. Although science has a hand in it, there’s an art to it, mixed with skill and wrapped in a whole lot of hope.
Nikki and others leaned on hope to get her through the most challenging time in her young life.
And when she opened her eyes for the first time after surgery, hope wasn’t some far-off, hard-to-explain expectation of better days. It was here. It was now. She had grasped hope – every straw, even the last one – and it pulled her to a place she needed to be. It kept her here with those surrounding her with love.
She had made it through the procedure, but the journey to recovery was just starting. The hospital bills were the furthest thing from her mind those first few days, but as the days passed the worry crept into Nikki’s thoughts.
“I’m grateful for the surgeons and everyone who has helped me,” Nikki said. “Now, I’m trying to figure out how to make sure the bills get paid.”
To financially help Nikki, The Heron Club at Prestancia is having a garage sale of sorts Saturday, March 19. The event kicks off at 11 in the morning and is open to the public. Items from vendors will be available for bid by way of a silent auction, and monetary donations will also be accepted.
“She’s so great and in her time of need, we really want to try and help her any way we can because she’s the one always helping others,” Executive Director Anna Hellett said. “It doesn’t matter what is going on, when we need help, she’s the first one to volunteer.”
“Now it’s our time to help her.”
If you would like more information or would like to donate, please call The Heron Club at Prestancia at (941) 216-1736.
Where: The Heron Club at Prestancia Garage Sale Details
Address: 3749 Sarasota Sq. Blvd. Sarasota, FL 34238
Date: March 19, 2022
Time: 11 AM