State College, Pa- When Niki Nolte’s teammates were told about her battle with leukemia, it didn’t take them long to rally with support…with a hashtag that’s gone viral.
“When we swim, we swim for her, and so we said, the person in the middle says I’ll say Niki, you say strong, and so then we decided that we wanted to get the whole entire swimming community involved, so we started the hashtag Niki Strong,” Marget Shelly, Niki’s roommate and teammate said.
And since then, the hashtag has taken off. Drawing support from swim team’s nation wide ranging from Penn State’s Big Ten rivals, schools on the west coast, and local PA schools as well.
Beyond the hashtag there’s another message Niki wants to convey
“One of the things she’s really advocating for is no sympathy just support, she doesn’t want people to be looking down on her, thinking less of her as a person, more just the support aspect,” Maddie Hart, Niki’s teammate said.
The team plans on continuing fundraising efforts to help Niki and her family with medical costs associated with her treatment.
And everyone WTAJ spoke with says they expect Niki to win this battle
“I think she will, 100%, she’s my idol, I think she’s got this,” Hart said.
“Yes, 100%,” said Shelly.
“I believe Niki will beat cancer this time, she’s beaten it before, she can do it again,” Teddy Perelli, Niki’s friend, said.
Nikki won a battle with lymphoma in high school, and has just returned home after her first treatment of chemo. Her coach, who just visited her said she’s bubbly and filled with energy, ready to take on the battle at hand.
Penn State has just announced fundraising efforts to help Niki and her family, including a go-fund-me page.