Nicole Gibbs is a 26-year-old American tennis star who is known for bringing fierce competition to every match she plays in. The athlete was enjoying her career success when a routine trip to the dentist changed life as she knew it. Her dentist discovered a rare form of cancer in her mouth known as salivary gland cancer. The only indication of the cancer was a tiny growth on the roof of her mouth that her dentist just so happened to notice.
Gibbs hardly noticed the bump herself since it had been there for years. She had no idea it was the sign of something extremely dangerous. She publicly announced that she pulled out of the French Open to have surgery to remove the cancer, according to Today.
Gibbs hadn’t expected a simple trip to the dentist would lead to such a startling discovery. However, she is approaching the situation fearlessly, just as she would take on a tough competitor on the tennis court. She now knows that the prognosis for this type of cancer is very good and that her surgeon is confident that she’ll come through the procedure without a problem.
Nevertheless, upon first receiving the diagnosis, Gibbs did what many people do when they are dealing with a health problem. She turned to Google. The statistics she came across online devastated her and she found herself getting unnecessarily worried. Her boyfriend, Jack Brody, stepped in to help her keep a cool head and stay offline.
Whenever she had a question regarding her cancer and was tempted to search for the answer online, he did it for her. This way he could process the information and only provide her with what was accurate and useful.
“It was bad. I saw one thing that was like, ‘mouth cancer — 17% survival rate. The rule was he was our Googler, so he would process the information and bring it to me,” she said.
The tennis star turned to Twitter to give her fans an update about what was going on in terms of her health and explain why she was no longer attending the French Open. She credited her team at UCLA health network and her friends and family for getting her through the difficult time.
“Fortunately, this form of cancer has a great prognosis and my surgeon is confident that surgery alone will be sufficient treatment. He even OK’d me to play an extra couple of tournaments these past few weeks, which served as a nice distraction,” she said.