Nicole De Greef, a 54-year-old resident at Cavell Court care home, on Cringleford’s Dragonfly Lane, has impressed fellow residents and staff with her unwavering resilience in the face of serious illness.
“Nikki” was diagnosed with cancer in May 2017 and has vowed to stay strong and live her life to the full – declining medical treatment for the disease.
She moved to the Care UK home earlier this year and is an active member of its community.
Nikki has always lived an active lifestyle and particularly loves swimming. The Care UK team arranged for her to visit the UEA Sportspark pool for a morning, in the hope it would give her enjoyment and ease some of the pains she lives with as a result of the cancer.
Nikki said: “I’ve missed swimming so much and the feeling of freedom it provides. There is something about being in the water that makes me feel so calm and relaxed – it really is my happy place.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy battling cancer without treatment, but I want to enjoy my life while I’m still able to, so I really can’t thank the care team enough for helping me to do this. When I came to Cavell Court earlier this year I was blown away by the kindness and compassion of the whole team, and how they are all genuinely dedicated to ensuring people are treated as individuals and are able to enjoy a good quality of life.
“I felt amazing after my swim and my confidence soared. For the first time in a long time I felt refreshed and like me again – I can’t wait to go back!”
Jennie Rodger, home manager at Cavell Court, added: “Nikki is one of our younger residents and is simply a joy to have around. She is forever pushing boundaries and going out of her way to get the most out of her day – and helps others to do the same. We were delighted that we were able to help Nikki do something we all know is so special to her, and it was clear how much the time in the pool meant to her.”
Nikki (centre) with Care UK staff