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Dallas doctor with terminal cancer wants to use remaining time to raise money for others. A viral video is helping her do just that

“What do I want to do with my life?” Dr. Michelle Nichols asked. “What kind of legacy do I want to leave my children?”

DALLAS — Dallas psychiatrist Dr. Michelle Nichols is dying of breast cancer. It’s stage 4, and it’s metastasized to her lungs, liver and spine. 

“There’s been lots of ups and downs," she told WFAA.

“More downs recently, but we’re in it together,” she said, clutching her husband Greg’s hand.

Michelle and Greg are both doctors; he’s a radiologist. But, they’re also parents to two beautiful young girls, Trinity and Grace. They’re music lovers, spending many of their last few days together listening to their favorite songs. 

“What do I want to do with my life?” Michelle asked. “What kind of legacy do I want to leave my children?”

It didn’t take Michelle long to answer her own question.

For years, she and Greg have raised money for cancer patients and music therapy programs. 

“There are people going through so much worse. And they don’t have one hundredth of an ounce of help that we have,” Greg said. 

Michelle decided she wants to spend the rest of her time helping even more of those people. She and Greg have hosted small benefit concerts in the past for nonprofits. 

This time, Michelle decided she wants to host the fundraisers with concerts headlined by artists whose songs she’s played in meaningful moments in her life. 

She came up with her “moonshot" list of artists: 

  • Colin Hay
  • Bob Dylan
  • Brett Dennen
  • Lauren Daigle
  • Vienna Teng
  • Allison Krauss
  • Ben Folds
  • David Gray
  • Lyle Lovett
  • Porterdavis
  • Jon Bryant
  • Heather Maloney

Greg wanted to try to make it happen for his wife, but had no idea how to find any of these artists. So, he called his friend, J Mack Slaughter, a doctor with a TikTok following, and asked him to post a public plea.

J Mack did.

Around 2.2 million people viewed his video on Instagram alone.

"God, it was amazing how many people commented," Slaughter told WFAA. "And tagged, and shared, and texted, and called and emailed!" 

Enough people pushed the video in front of the artists, and now eight of the 12 have agreed to make it happen.

"It gives me a lot of hope and a lot of encouragement in a dark time," Michelle gushed.

Plus, a final opportunity to solidify her legacy and to teach her a lesson.

"That you can either affect people in a good way, or not." 

No doubt the kids will look back and remember how their mom gave to others, and how the strangers on the internet gave to her. 

The charities Michelle and Greg fundraise for are Music Meets Medicine, KidLinks, The Samuel Allen Pampel Foundation and Mommies in Need

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