We celebrate the life and laughter of Miss Nikki, a Chicago-based stand-up comedian who fought and lost her battle with breast cancer.

Cancer is 10 percent medicine and doctors, and the rest is you.

One year ago, comedian Veronique “Miss Nikki” Martinez passed away after a years-long battle with breast cancer, but her influence and optimistic outlook about her diagnosis remain a source of humor and heart in the world of cancer.

To describe Martinez as an invigorating life force for all those around her would be an understatement. Comedy was a natural fit for Martinez, even during moments of strife.

In October 2010, Martinez both received a stage III breast cancer diagnosis and made her stand-up comedy debut at Joe’s on Weed Street in Chicago. It’s not precisely divine timing, but it does show even the worst of times can exist in tandem with the best of times.

For Martinez, part of this perspective stemmed from her desire for empowerment about her health issues. She carefully informed her daughter about her prognosis and kept full records of her medical documents.

And before her passing, Martinez maintained a list of her wishes, which included going shopping for her funeral. She even asked her friends and family to celebrate her multifaceted life as a nurse, bartender, and bouncer with everything from velvet ropes and wristbands to plenty of Jack Daniels and beer. “Financial burden is not what I want to leave behind,” she said. “By educating your family and friends, you’re creating a positive example. Remember, if we can educate, we can empower ourselves.” Martinez went on to host Baticua Entertainment’s “LOL Saturday Night Comedy Slam,” and maintained her radio show, “LOL with Miss Nikki,” on Intellectual Radio.

To the end, Martinez remained positive and determined, a testament to her forthright character and her heart. “I’m in control,” Martinez told us in an interview in 2016. “Cancer does not control me.”


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