SYSK: Nikki Erickson raises awareness about childhood cancers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: Nikki Erickson raises awareness about childhood cancers


Every day, seven children die from childhood cancer. Something Nikki Erickson of Waterloo knows all too well.

"His name is Jadyn Comer. He was a very happy little boy. He always brought a smile to everybody's face," said Nikki Erickson.

Erickson said her son, Jadyn, was almost two when he started throwing up. At first it was believed he had acid reflux. When it got worse after Thanksgiving in 2007, she took him back to the hospital.

Jadyn was transferred to Iowa City via helicopter.

"The first thing they told us is your son's in a very grave condition and me and his father were in complete shock," said Erickson.

It was discovered Jadyn had a brain tumor, and he was taken in for emergency surgery. But a couple days after surgery, the family learned vital blood flow was cut off to the brain and Jadyn didn't have any brain activity.

"We had to make the decision to stop life support and he went to heaven on November 29th," said Nikki Erickson.

To help raise money for others impacted by childhood cancers, Nikki participated in "Baking to Find a Cure." It was a bake sale in Waterloo to raise money for more research for childhood cancers.

"It is something that affects each and every community," said Erickson.

Nikki said she wasn't up for doing much right after Jadyn died. But then she saw information on a fundraiser for Oliver Palmer, another Cedar Valley child who at the time was battling a brain tumor, and Erickson knew it was time to start helping others impacted by childhood cancers.

Erickson said currently only four percent of the National Cancer Institute's annual budget goes to childhood cancer, which is why every extra dollar raised is so important. The bake sale and other events are her way of honoring her son's life.

"He'd be proud. That's the biggest thing for me is for him to be happy and look down and smile that his mom is doing something good," said Erickson.

Nikki Erickson said her son is really the person we should know because he motivates her every day to try to help someone else.

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