On October 6, 2014 at the age of 37, Nikki suffered a severe stroke affecting her right side which left her without speech and an essential need to learn to walk again. As a new mother to little Conor, clearly Nikki was fighting for her quality of life.
At the suggestion of the Phoenix alumnae, Nikki applied for an Anchor Grant asking the Foundation if they would donate any amount toward an experimental device, the Bioness, that was not covered by insurance. When Foundation Executive Director Roxanne LaMuth called Nikki and her mom and told her the Foundation would pay the full price of the Bioness, the phone went silent followed by heartfelt tears.
In February, the Foundation Board of Trustees held their winter meeting in Phoenix and hosted a reception to thank the local alumnae for all they do for the Foundation. There was not a dry eye in the room when Nikki walked through the front door pressing the button around her neck and moving her right foot forward walking toward Rox to say thank you.