A stand-up comedian in Chicago is laughing in the face of cancer.
Nikki Martinez first took to the stage five years ago, after she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer and had a mastectomy. Most people wouldn’t find much humor in the situation, but Martinez was inspired.
“That’s when I decided I’d make cancer my career,” she told CBS News. “That’s my way of giving it the finger.”
She took part in an annual breast cancer charity comedy show and got roars of laughter when she flung off her wig and joked about the absurdities of the disease that had turned her life upside down. “It’s my first time doing comedy,” she told the crowd, “and I’m trying not to die!”
Martinez laughs about finding her niche in show business: “You’re not gonna find too many healthy women that’s gonna whip off a wig and a fake boob, so that is probably the only advantage ... you can’t really steal my jokes.”
In the course of her routine, she also encourages audience members to get regular screenings for breast cancer.