Nicole and Deborah: Brought Together by Breast Cancer

Mentor Nicole and Mentee Deborah at Walk With Sally's tie dye Friendship Activity in El Segundo



Nicole & Deborah: Brought Together by Breast Cancer

Nicole and Deborah were matched in November of 2018, and while we’ll get to where they are now, their path to finding Walk With Sally was paved by their experiences with cancer.

Nicole with Deborah and her family at Walk WIth Sally's Friendship Activity at Staples Center in Los Angeles
Nicole with Deborah and her family at Walk With Sally’s Friendship Activity in 2019. Photo courtesy of Jolugarphotography.

Deborah: the mentee

Deborah, at just 13 years old, has seen her mom battle, and win, her fight against breast cancer, but it wasn’t without loneliness and worry. She was interested in joining the Walk With Sally mentoring program nearly two years ago because she wanted a mentor to help her realize she’s not alone in this world impacted by cancer. Shortly thereafter she was matched with her mentor, Nicole.

Nicole: the mentor

Sadly, Nicole lost three loved ones to cancer, including a close friend to breast cancer.  These devastating experiences have served to make her stronger with an enhanced appreciation for life.  But she also knows, she didn’t get through any of these experiences alone, it was thanks to unconditional love from family and friends.  She got through with help and support.  This is why Nicole sought out the opportunity to become a mentor, to use her experience to help others get through a difficult time due to cancer.  And, that’s exactly what she’s doing for Deborah.

Mentor Nicole and Mentee Deborah playing a game at Walk With Sally's Friendship Activity in Hawthorne, CaliforniaTogether: the Friendship

A consistent support, over their two years together Nicole and Deborah have become a regular face inside the larger Walk With Sally community.  Together they’ve taken advantage of the Walk With Sally Friendship Activities, like the Ice Skating and Frozen 2 screening where the photo of Nicole with Deborah’s entire family was taken (see above). Or, the tie-dye event where they got to create their very own tie-dye designs while hanging out and meeting other kids who understand just what it’s like when cancer hits home.


Nicole has been just what Deborah asked for when she was first introduced to Walk With Sally, someone to help her realize she’s not alone.  Nicole’s been by her side throughout the last two years helping her to see that she’s a part of a larger community and build her confidence as she grows from a young girl into a teenager. In fact, Nicole recently encouraged Deborah to participate in the Walk With Sally Virtual Talent Show.  While COVID-19 prevented the mentors and mentees from gathering in person for our typical Friendship Activities, we created a virtual talent show so that mentors and mentees could show off their talents to this incredible community.  Grab a tissue and take a peek at what Deborah contributed…

Thank you Nicole and Deborah for being who you are within the Walk With Sally community.  We are so proud of both of you and can’t thank you enough for showing up every day. You have both left an imprint on so many of us, and we couldn’t say it better than Deborah’s mom…

“No words can describe how I feel. I feel so thankful for the angels at Walk With Sally.”

– Maria, Deborah’s mom and Breast Cancer survivor


Sustain Friendships like Deborah & Nicole’s and the more than 100 others, become a Friend of Sally with as little as $15/month.

Donate Today

For Walk With Sally’s 15th Anniversary we will be honoring everyone who becomes a Friend of Sally between October 1-15, 2020 by adding the name of their cancer warrior to our “Who’s Your Sally” mural in Downtown Manhattan Beach.  To honor your loved one, make a donation today!