Moms Know Best: Natalie's mom, Nicole

Natalie’s mom doesn’t sweat the small stuff. Not anymore.

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  •  2 min

Moms Know Best: St. Jude patient Natalie and her mom Nicole

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When Nicole was growing up, her grandparents kept a copy of Richard Carlson’s book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff” in their bathroom, where all great reading material is kept. 

It wasn’t until her youngest daughter, Natalie, was diagnosed with cancer that the mom of five understood the truth of that.  

“Through this journey, I get it,” Nicole said. 

Moms Know Best: St. Jude patient Natalie and her mom Nicole

Natalie was 16 months old in 2022 when she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a pediatric cancer that begins in developing nerve cells. At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Natalie got a second chance – and when she relapsed in June after a year of clear scans, a third. She’s 3 1/2 and still receiving treatment.  

“The things that seem like a big deal — like shoes left on the floor, or a kitchen that's not clean, or a house that's not super organized.” It’s all small stuff.

Nothing is as important as having her family together. The kids talking her into omelets for dinner. Roasting marshmallows in the backyard. Watching the stars.  

Video: Hey Nicole, what's your best parenting advice?

“We’re all just so glad to have the chance to be present with one another,” Nicole said. “In as many ways as I hate cancer, I feel blessed to have been given the gift of perspective to see so clearly what is right in front of me.”

So don’t worry so much about what the future may hold. Instead, make the most of every day. “The rest will work itself out,” she said. 

“Whether your child has cancer or they don’t, I would encourage you to live in the moment that is in front of you and take joy in being with your kids.”

Moms Know Best: St. Jude patient Natalie and her mom Nicole

Read more about Natalie's journey here.

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