INDIANAPOLIS – After 20 weeks of chemo, 25 rounds of radiation and a double mastectomy, Niki Donaldson is in remission from breast cancer.
“My whole goal through my journey was to stay positive, because I have three kids and I didn’t want them to worry,” Donaldson said.
Last weekend was an eventful one for the Mooresville native. She participated in Saturday’s Susan G. Komen “More Than Pink Walk” as a survivor for the first time.
Then on Sunday, she was one of 25 cancer survivors or patients battling cancer honored as part of the NFL’s “Crucial Catch” event at the Colts-Texans game.
The honorees took part in the pregame flag presentation and were recognized during a halftime ceremony, where they were able to ring a bell. Cancer patients often ring a ceremonial bell to signify the end of their treatment.
“It’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Donaldson after Saturday’s walk at White River State Park. “The opportunity to ring the bell on the field during halftime is going to be such a cool experience.”
The first 50,000 fans at Sunday’s game received a “Crucial Catch” pin and the Colts’ cheerleaders and mascot, “Blue” wore special uniforms to highlight the cause.
The “Crucial Catch: Intercept Cancer” initiative raises money for the American Cancer Society while prioritizing early detection.
“A routine mammogram saved my life,” Donaldson said. “I encourage everyone to get preventative screenings, colonoscopies, any of those things.”
A lifelong Colts’ fan, Donaldson is honored to be a part of the fight against cancer alongside her favorite team.
“It’s so cool to see the players raise awareness. It means more as a survivor, but I’ve always embraced their involvement.
“I’m always willing to share my story and get the word out, so they know they’re not alone. There’s always resources for anyone who needs it. You can always get through it when it seems tough.”