Twenty-seven-year-old adult performer/director Nicki Hunter was diagnosed recently with lymphoblastic leukemia/lymphoma, a complex form of cancer targeting the lymph system.
An outpouring of support and sympathy from members of the adult community has been sent Hunter's way, with a few individuals beginning to organize major fundraisers to help her and her family through this crisis.
AVN.com spoke with Amber Gleason, long-time friend and public relations representative to Hunter, who recounted Hunter's discovery of the disease.
"Towards about the end of November, Nicki began having back pains," she said. "Within a month or so, it had progressed to the point where her left side was completely distended, and she was having severe back pain, to the point where she couldn't get out of bed.
"So eventually she went to Dr. Riggs — everybody knows Dr. Riggs — and he took an x-ray, and they found a large mass in her chest," Gleason continued. "[It] turned out to be her thymus gland, blown up to about the size of an oblong grapefruit … it kind of looked like an octopus wrapped around her heart."
Gleason explained that the cause of the affliction is the carrier's T-cells dropping a chromosome and replicating uncontrollably, which develops into a cancer when they hit a lymph node or gland and get trapped there. She said that because it's not a simple type of cancer to treat, it's one that will likely affect Hunter the remainder of her life.
"A lot of things are going to have to change," she continued. "Nicki Hunter [is] still going to be able to have a career, she's still going to be able to be in the industry. She's going to have to take a few months off, but certain things, like her feature dancing, she's not going to be able to do anymore. All of her anal scenes, can't do that anymore, either. Nicki was always known for being very rough, very hardcore, and a lot of that's gotta change. Now she has to live kind of a quieter life."
Gleason said that Hunter, who was sent home from the hospital two days ago, has begun chemotherapy treatments, and that all things considered, she's doing well. "She's not healthy right now," Gleason offered, "but emotionally, she's doing well. Everyone's been calling, sending flowers … she's loving it, she's like, 'Yay! Everybody loves me!' She's in good spirits, she's back with her family, and that's what makes her happy. That's what she needs more than anything else in life, is her boys and her husband."
In addition to calls and flowers, fundraising plans have begun to coalesce amongst prominent industry figures and companies, including Kylie Ireland, Ginger Lynn, De'Bella, All Media Play, Sex-Z Pictures, Red Light District, X-Play, Elegant Angel and AVN. Benefits currently being organized are an All Media Play industry party in mid-March and a charity movie.
"Everybody's been wanting to get very involved and help, which has been incredibly humbling and just very amazing, and very touching," Gleason said. "Nicki is very, very happy to know that people care so much about her. From her, she wants to say thank you to everybody for caring."
To get involved in the fundraising efforts for Nicki Hunter, contact De'Bella at 818.825.5462 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information on sending cards, flowers or other gifts, contact Amber Gleason at email@example.com.