Hayley Nickerson, a 12-year-old from Cole Harbour, is preparing to fight back against cancer by hitting the trail with her family for the newly implement 25km Youth Ride and she wants you by her side!

Although Hayley’s passions — softball and gaming — are pretty average for a youth, her story is far from it.

What’s special about Hayley, aside from being a triplet, is that she fought her own battle with AML Leukemia at age 9.

Hayley’s family started noticing frequent nosebleeds and persistent cold symptoms in early 2015.

A blood test was done by her family doctor and on the way home from a softball practice in June 2015 the Nickerson’s received the call every parent dreads.

“They told us to come to the hospital and be ready to stay a couple days,” says her father, Barry Nickerson. “It wasn’t a couple of days.”

Nine months, four rounds of chemo and over 50 blood transfusions later, Hayley was feeling strong enough to have the required bone marrow transplant.

“It sucked. That’s it,” says Hayley. “I just wanted to go outside.”

Her health continues to improve after the successful transplant and regular six month check-ups and she is back playing rep softball with the Sackville Surge.

Hayley and her identical twin sister, Alyson, are gearing up for a softball tournament where they will play against their triplet sister, Taylor, who plays for Cole Harbour Comets.

Soon they’re headed to Montreal for softball nationals. For many tournaments the Nickerson’s and other families with children on the Comets commute in travel trailers, somewhat of a softball camper convoy.

Despite her diagnosis and treatment, Hayley’s personality never faded.

Barry recalls her running around the bases barefoot after her first round of chemo and sneaking into the halls to fly her drone during her treatment.

“She doesn’t miss a beat,” says Barry. “And she didn’t then either.”

In 2017, Barry decided to tackle Ride for Cancer in honour of their battle. His team, the HALIFAX TPW Group, rallied 14 people and raised over $22,000.

This year, Hayley, her sister Alyson and their 17 year-old brother Cameron will join Barry and the HALIFAX TPW group to complete the 25km youth ride.

Although, Hayley is confident she could handle the 50km.

“I want to help other families that have to do this,” she says.

Hayley is looking forward to riding with of her doctors, Dr. Crooks., who is an avid biker and “as crazy as the kids.”

Alongside championing the Youth Ride, Hayley proudly gave Dr. Berman, aka Dr Fishy Fish, extra marrow for his clinical trials with his zebrafish during her treatment.

“All I’ll say is bring a buddy, you know, like a stuffed animal,” she says.

The Nickersons were lucky to have a positive outcome, but their fight against cancer continues.

Hayley is hoping her softball pals and gaming friends she spends time with online will join her for the ride.

Will you?

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