Val Skinner Foundation

Pleva Family

Jamie Pleva Nickerson and Ted Pleva

At the young age of 29, Jamie Pleva Nickerson was diagnosed with Stage I triple negative breast cancer. Her diagnosis came at a time when Jamie and her family were already preparing to say goodbye to her sister, Tracy, who was losing her nine-year battle with the disease.

With Tracy in treatment in New Jersey and Jaime in treatment in New York, their parents then spent months going back and forth between their two daughters’ bedsides making sure to never leave one alone.

Things would get more difficult. Jaime’s father, Ted, had been heartbroken when told that a second daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer. Doctors had already determined that he carried the BRCA1 gene mutation, which is highly correlated with the disease.

Ted had already lost his mother to cancer and two of his aunts to breast cancer before losing his daughter to the disease.

Three months after Jaime was diagnosed with breast cancer, Tracy lost her battle. Jaime struggled with how she would be strong enough to survive when her sister could not.

Drawing on strength from her family, Jaime decided to take back the power from cancer. She had her eggs retrieved and frozen, giving her something extra to fight for – her future family.

One facing a difficult fight with cancer and the other now genetically responsible for it, Jaime and Ted turned to each other for strength.

As they continue their fight, Jaime and her father strive to show other families affected by the disease that they can also keep fighting and beat breast cancer.

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