Nicole Lynn Dumas was born March 6, 1984 in Houston, Texas. She had a healthy ,normal childhood. She played girls’ basketball in junior high, broke her arm roller skating (racing the boys), went to all of the high school dances and functions, had good grades, although was reminded to stop talking in class from time to time.
She was an officer on the high school drill team, wrecked her first car in front of the local fire department, and graduated from Cypress Springs High School in 2002. She was accepted to Texas A&M University receiving her B.S. degree in Sociology in 2006, then accepted into the Masters Program at Texas State University graduating Magna Cum Laude in Social Work and Business Administration in 2009. Nicole was excited to start building a career and to fix the world’s social problems!
After graduating, she started working as a case worker assisting young, single mothers, then was promoted to account manager. She was passionate about life and everything she was involved in.
Living in Austin with her beloved puppies, Ernie and Olivia, she was on her way to make her mark on the world even if it meant arguing with the moon. She had a knack for seeing through the fog, understanding the issues and fighting for what she believed would make things better.
In the fall of 2010, after multiple visits to three different doctors over a five month period for what seemed to be a nagging cough and unrelated right shoulder muscle discomfort, she was diagnosed two weeks before Thanksgiving with stage four, non small cell lung cancer.
Her oncologist estimated early on that the primary tumor in her right lung had started about twelve months earlier.
Nicole never smoked, was always active and fit, had a healthy appetite making sure to eat meals that included lots of fruits and vegetables. She was doing all the right things.
During her own battle with lung cancer, she and her family met hundreds of other cancer patients, built strong, trusting relationships with the medical and support staff, while experiencing the ups and downs of lung cancer treatment. She gained knowledge about different treatment plans, how to manage treatments, testing schedules, health concerns and discovered additional services that were available to support her during her fight with lung cancer. She also learned how multiple drugs interacted and how they affected her physically and emotionally. The learning curve was ongoing and seemed never ending.
Listening and interacting with other cancer patients about their victories, hardships, and frustrations with cancer including each individual personal situation helped with emotional support by relating to others in her situation. Other aspects of cancer treatment were the loss of her hair as a side effect to chemo and the negative effect to her self-esteem. She had a feeling of isolation by not being able to go out with friends because of no energy, nausea, or the concern of catching a cold because of a lowered immune system.
The negative stigma that lung cancer is a self inflicted disease of an older smoking generation frustrated Nicole to no end and was the catalyst for her dream to start a non-profit foundation that would effectively help other young women and their families by trying to improve their quality of life in some small way.
Nicole lost her battle with lung cancer in late October, 2012, just twenty-three months after being diagnosed. She never gave up mentally on her fight with cancer; she continued to look for answers and solutions as she had so many unrealized dreams and future plans.
During her short adult life, she was a passionate advocate for anyone that was in need of assistance with a strong desire to better the quality of life for those truly in need. During the two year battle with her own disease, her dream was to start a foundation to assist other women, their families and friends struggling through the daily aspects of lung cancer and its treatment.
Her family and friends who loved her so very much will miss her forever and plan to keep her passion and dreams alive through this foundation.
charitable organization lung cancer foundation