The foundation started in 1998, a few months after Nicole was diagnosed. Being a caregiver, you always want to do all you can to help. But in many cases, there is not much you can really do to affect the pain (physical or emotional) that your loved-one is experiencing. After several months of not really knowing how to make a big impact with Nicole, I was speaking with my life-long friend, Rob Harvey. I was telling him how I was feeling and he suggested we do something that could be positive or uplifting. For me and for Nicole and our friends and family. From there, the first Scramble for a Cure was born and the Nicole Wilcox Foundation was formed. Soon after that, we brought in our co-worker and friend, Vicky Ross. She has been the binding force for Rob and I to start that foundation so many years ago. When the Nicole Wilcox Foundation began, we were donating all of our funds raised to large organizations. But after talking with many people and seeing examples of local people all around us who were battling Cancer, we switched our focus to giving to individuals and families in need. We found that we could make a very direct impact on people’s lives this way. We could see and feel the emotion when we tell them we could pay some bills for them, or hire a house cleaner for them for 6 months, or even send them on a trip to get their minds off their battle for even a short time. And we have not forgotten about the caregivers either! We will often give the caregivers their own special treatment or day away. Because being a caregiver is difficult. It is not easy being so terribly scared for your loved one but always having to be “the strong” one and painting a calm face.
The foundation has also giving the daughter Nicole and I had together, Riley, the chance to know her Mother through the experiences of others. It has also allowed Riley to maintain a connection to her birth Mother. Fast forward to 2017, so many years later, my wife, Chandra, and so many of our friends and family continually support our cause. We even added a new board member, Lauren Mandell, a Breast Cancer survivor herself. Together we will all continue to honor the memory Nicole and so many others who have fought, or are currently fighting the battle!