9 year-old cancer survivor donates pajamas to chemotherapy patients

Posted at 1:36 PM, Feb 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-15 13:36:14-05

Comfort during cancer treatments. That was the goal for Nya Ricks while she battled AML Leukemia at the age of six.

"It was really tough, it was a really tough time...sometimes I didn't even know what was going on," said nine year-old Nya, talking about her six-month treatment.

Shortly after her diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia, Nya entered cancer treatments. She faced complications and was in a coma for more than two weeks. "We know her smile, her attitude, her sassiness. To watch her for 21 days, not move, talk, nothing, it was a very, very scary situation," said Lindsay Ricks, Nya's mother.

The then six year-old remembers only some of her experience. "Because of the stuff I was going through, I didn't need any problems, like wearing my clothes. I just wanted my pajamas," said Nya through a smile and giggles.

Her personality is infectious. Spunky and outspoken, she's unafraid to tell the truth. She said during her treatment, the last thing she wanted to be bothered with was fancy clothes her mother suggested she wear. She just wanted comfort. It came in the form of pajamas.

"Every family member the night she was diagnosed brought us pajamas that night. Like they asked 'what do you need?' and it was clothes. She has nothing. I remembered back to that night, what did we need? It was pajamas." That need sparked an idea for Lindsay and Nya. They called it 'Nya's Noodle Network.'

The mother and daughter duo decided they would donate pajamas of all sizes to patients undergoing treatment at Roswell Park, Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo and hospitals across the country. 

"We just kind of thought maybe we could bring pajamas to the sick kids in the hospital, because when I was in the hospital I just loved wearing my warm, comfy pajamas," said Nya. 

Her mom says it's a comfortable reminder that no one fights cancer alone.

You can contact Nya's family here to find out how you can help Nya's Noodle Network provide pajamas to chemotherapy patients.