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Nikki Mitchell

Inspiration For An Anthem

Pancreatic Cancer Warrior Soared in Everything She Did

Diagnosed: December, 2010
Passed Away: July 9, 2013
Nikki Mitchell Foundation

Nikki Mitchell was a warrior who inspired the creation of a song that has come to embody the struggle, the resilience, the determination and the courage of all pancreatic cancer survivors.

In 2011, Nikki owned the River Café in suburban Nashville when a mutual friend suggested that a young, talented singer, Alyssa Bonagura, play music and sing at Nikki’s restaurant.

Nikki and Alyssa became instant friends. “Nikki talked to me for hours and told me her story and then she said, ‘Oh, yeah. And I have pancreatic cancer.’”

Alyssa was so moved by what Nikki was confronting that she wrote a song for Nikki called “Warrior.” The next time Alyssa performed at the River Café, she played the song for her, telling Nikki, “You inspired me to write this song because there’s nobody I’ve ever met who’s been so calm and collected and strong during something like this.”

“Warrior” has become the anthem for the Seena Magowitz Foundation.

Nikki had an impressive background: she moved from Texas to Nashville to become president of Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter Music, a position she held for 22 years. During her tenure there, Nikki made history in 1998 with the “Bridge of Wings” flight, during which she circumnavigated the northern hemisphere as co-captain in a single engine aircraft. In one segment of the journey, the venture unified two countries, when she and her co-pilot flew side by side in formation with two Russian aircraft to retrace the historical 1938 Flight of the Rodina that showcased heroic Russian women pilots.

Nikki was diagnosed in December 2010 and given a possible three-month prognosis. She consulted with renowned medical professionals around the country and her zeal for life never diminished.

Nikki died in July of 2013. The Nikki Mitchell Foundation commemorates her fight and helps other pancreatic cancer warriors. One way the foundation helps is the Bridge of Wings program, a direct patient services initiative that provides patients in need with free transportation, house cleanings, meals and many more services tailored to their specific needs.

Nikki Mitchell’s bravery and tenacity made her a true warrior.

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