WACO, TX (FOX 44) – For weeks, the Waco Humane Society has been posting about its code red status being at, or even over, capacity, for dog intakes.

It is a stressful time for volunteers and staff especially for one member.

Nikkey Freeman has lived in the Waco area for nearly 40 years.

Thanks to close friends providing a transplant, she’s recently overcome kidney failure. And now, she’s overcoming another life curve-ball.

In 2020, Nikkey started loving on the Central Texas Humane Society dogs. She left the nursing field during COVID-19 to care for animals, and doctors diagnosed her with stage one breast cancer last September.

“Not going to be a big deal. Just a minor surgery, a little bit of radiation, and that’s it,” said Freeman. “But when they did the surgery, it turned out to be stage three.”

Having to get a mastectomy and chemotherapy, she’s now on radiation for six weeks.

Despite constant trips to the doctors office, Nikkey is still visiting the shelter to give a helping hand.

“What keeps me going is helping these guys. Their love is everything and so many of them just know that there’s something going on,” said Freeman.

Freeman says her last CT Scan showed no evidence of cancer, but she still needs to complete radiation treatment to prevent it from returning.

A favorite part of her job is working with difficult dogs helping them recover to be adopted.

“She sticks up for every single dog out here,” said Mike Gray, Central Texas Humane Society Community Outreach Manager.

Gray sees Freeman as inspiration.

“She loves working with the more difficult dogs, and she does, and she’ll work with dogs nobody else will work with,” said Gray.” “She will be that voice for them to give them an opportunity to to find a home, and she’s done it with so many dogs.”

After losing hair from chemo, Freeman tattooed two quotes on her head reinventing herself.

“It reminds me that I could do all things through Christ and that these babies encourage me to just continue to be an overcomer,” said Freeman. “All of them are overcomers as well. So yeah, the tattoos are halfway for me and halfway for them.”

One thing Freeman wants the community to take away from her story is the shelter needs your help.

It shared on social media today there is no adoption or foster fee for anyone with a good home wanting to be involved in a dogs life.