Editor’s note: Nina is a former resident of Sagamore Hills. Her family reached out to us to share their story and is asking the community for prayers of support.
By JT Aguila
My wife, Nina Messina or as I call her “The Lovely Nina,” is currently fighting the brave fight against cancer for the 6th time in 18 years and for the 2nd time since January 2017. Nina has taken on the BIG C with courage, humor and the strength and determination that I find to be amazing and if nothing else, inspirational.
Nina is the owner and president of The Graphic Edge Professional Design Inc. The Graphic Edge is a graphic design company with nearly 30 years of business history in NE Ohio. She is also a long standing adjunct professor at the Virginia Marti College of Art & Design where she teaches graphic design. Nina has never been one to shy away from the challenges of cancer, chemo and radiation treatments and has faced them with her Long Island, New York born attitude of facing her life challenges head-on. A favorite sweatshirt bears the face of SNL cast member Gilda Radner as Roseanne Roseannadanna with the quote “It’s Always Something” emblazed on her chest.
Nina has shared her story on behalf of the American Cancer Society on the Hill in Washington DC and in Columbus, OH where she met with legislators to discuss the need for cancer research, awareness and funding. She has volunteered and given countless volunteer hours to the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, Breast Cancer Foundation and the American Cancer Society where she was honored as Volunteer of the Year. She was even married at an American Cancer Society Relay For Life event where she not only helped raise more that $250,000 in one night she helped attempt to set the Guinness World Book of Records for the Most Elvis Impersonators singing Viva Las Vegas.
For years we both thought it was just bad luck that she was forced to deal with multiple battles of colon cancer as well as uterine cancer and breast cancer. We began to wonder if it was just bad genes that were passed from her parents to both she and her brother who also has battled various types of cancer.
In January of 2017 Nina was diagnosed with and successfully treated for breast cancer at the world famous Cleveland Clinic. It was there that these miracle workers in lab coats discovered through genetic testing, that Nina has Lynch Syndrome.
Lynch Syndrome is a hereditary disorder caused by a mutation in a mismatch repair gene in which affected individuals have a higher than normal chance of developing colorectal cancer, endometrial cancer, and various other types of aggressive cancers, often at a young age – also called hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer. (HNPCC)
A number of inherited syndromes can increase your risk of colon cancer, but Lynch syndrome is the most common. … Families that have Lynch syndrome usually have more cases of colon cancer than would typically be expected.
Please keep Nina in your hearts and minds as she again fights this dreaded disease as she always has … with grace, courage, honor, strength and a smile.