Moving Forward from Cancer

Nicole Danielson speaks out on her cancer fight and offers advice for fellow women.

Nicole Danielson, a lifelong Valley resident, says before being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 35, she thought of the disease as something affecting older women, but soon realized just how many women younger than 40 were going through treatment, too. The graduate of Stillwater High School moved, along with her husband, to Hudson three years ago, when she was 10 years cancer-free. (After detecting a lump in 2005, she had “a lumpectomy with lymph nodes removed, eight rounds of chemotherapy and 33 rounds of radiation, followed by five years on medication,” she says.)

“I always mentally pictured cancer as something I was going through; not an end point, but a dark mass to pass through and come out of on the other side,” Danielson says. “This battle not only changes your body, but, for me, affected me beyond those scars.”

Last September, Danielson was asked to drive the pace car for the 25th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Denver. The car she drove belonged to a family member who had passed away after a six-year battle with cancer. The race had more than 10,000 participants, and Danielson says she was honored to be a part of it. She encourages self-exams and mammograms, “be an advocate for your own health, and trust your instincts,” she says. “For women going through treatment or who have gone through treatment, know that you are not alone.”