When doctors first diagnosed Shelly Nice with breast cancer, she wasn’t upset. She wasn’t concerned with the potentially life-threatening disease that invaded her body or the years of strenuous treatment ahead.
“Does this mean I don’t have to go to work this summer?,” she joked to her doctor.
But while Nice stared down her own mortality with a positive attitude, her 11-year-old daughter, Cat Zimmerman, struggled.
“She’s the one who was really affected,” Nice said. “I think people forget about the kids. You worry about the patient, and nobody thinks about some of these kids.
“They become collateral damage.”
And Nice said her daughter would have become collateral damage. If not for her horses.Zimmerman, a native of Morristown, New Jersey, and a soon-to-be full-time Alachua County resident, trains mustangs for competition.