Facebook chief Nicola Mendelsohn, who is battling cancer, dressed up as the Avengers hero Black Widow to visit Comic Con over Halloween weekend – and revealed she’s hoping some of the spy’s disease-fighting super powers ‘rub off on me’.
The head of Facebook in Europe, 47, who is a mother-of-four, revealed in February that she had been diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, an incurable blood cancer.
Nicola posted a snap on Instagram of herself beaming in Black Widow’s signature black catsuit alongside her son Zac Mendelsohn – who was dressed as Spider Man – at MCM Comic Con at the ExCel exhibition centre in London on Saturday.
She wrote alongside: ‘One of her superpowers is the strength of her immune system to fight off disease. I’m hoping some of that rubs off on me.’
Smiling mother-of-four Nicola, who is the head of Facebook in Europe, posed alongside her son Zac at MCM Comic Con in London dressed as Black Widow over the weekend
The Marvel Comics character Black Widow, who is played by Scarlett Johansson in the Avengers movies, is a supremely agile athlete who has been enhanced by biotechnology that makes her body resistant to ageing and disease, and heal more quickly than an ordinary human.
Black Widow’s white blood cells are efficient enough to fight off any microbe, making her immune to infections and disease.
Nicola Mendelsohn, the 47-year-old head of Facebook in Europe, revealed in February that she had been diagnosed with incurable blood cancer. Last month she tweeted a snap of herself about to undergo a fourth round of chemotherapy, and told her followers that her tumours are ‘shrinking’ and doctors are pleased with her progress
Mrs Mendelsohn appeared in high spirits in photos of herself and Zac on their annual trip to Comic Con she shared on her Instagram feed
Last month Nicola Mendelsohn revealed her tumours are ‘shrinking’ as she prepares to undergo a fourth round of chemotherapy following her diagnosis with incurable blood cancer.
Nicola, who has described delivering the news of her diagnosis to her children as the ‘worst moment of my life’, tweeted a smiling snap of herself in what appeared to be a cancer ward, ready to start a fourth cycle of chemo and immunotherapy.
She posted: ‘My scan last week showed that my tumours are shrinking, the Dr’s are pleased with my progress. So now I’m back in my chair getting my treatment.’
When she made her diagnosis public earlier in the year Nicola called it a ‘slow growing’ cancer that was ‘currently incurable’.
Nicola Mendelsohn pictured with her four children (Zac, front left, Sam, back left, Gabi, centre, and Danny, far right) and husband Lord Mendelsohn
Black Widow, who is played by Scarlett Johansson in Marvel movies, has been enhanced by biotechnology and has a boosted ability to fight off infection and disease
Nicola – whose husband Lord Mendelsohn was sacked by Jeremy Corbyn for attending the notorious Presidents Club gala dinner in January (he made clear at the time that he, ‘did not witness any of the appalling incidents described…’) – has been calling for more investment in research into lymphoma.
Writing in the Sunday Times Magazine, Nicola explained how she was diagnosed in November 2016 after discovering a small lump in her groin, measuring less than half a centimetre, before a CT scan showed she had tumours all over her body.
The vice president of Facebook in Europe, the Middle East and Africa – described how she and her husband, Jon, had to sit down their children, aged between 13 and 20, to tell them the devastating news.
She wrote at the time: ‘Zac is our youngest and his first question was: “Are you going to die?” That’s always the thought that comes into your head when you hear the word “cancer”.
Ms Mendelsohn, seen addressing delegates at the annual conference of British Industry in 2016, revealed in February that she had been diagnosed with incurable blood cancer
Nicola (pictured with husband Lord Mendelsohn) has described having to tell her children about the cancer diagnosis as ‘the hardest moment of her life’
‘It is not a conversation I could ever have imagined having with them, not even in my worst nightmares, until it hit me in the face. It was the hardest moment of my life.’
Nicola wrote that her type of cancer is ‘slow growing’, that it is ‘currently incurable’, and how 60 per cent of those living with lymphomas live more than 10 years.
She said that, at 46 at the time, the prognosis did not ‘feel acceptable’. ‘I’m not satisfied with that,’ she wrote.
Nicola said she intended to monitor her cancer through the ‘watch and wait’ approach, and would undergo a combination of chemo and immunotherapy should her symptoms worsen.
Mrs Mendelsohn is understood to have undergone four rounds of chemotherapy since making her diagnosis public.
Nicola previously revealed how she has given up processed sugar from her diet, and started exercising twice a week in the wake of her diagnosis, admitted she ironically felt ‘much healthier’.
Nicola, pictured after being awarded a CBE in 2015, has called for more investment in research into lymphoma
What is follicular lymphoma?
Follicular lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and develops when the body makes abnormal white blood cells.
The most common symptom of the blood cancer is swelling in the neck, armpit or groin.
Other symptoms include tiredness, weight loss, night sweats and fevers.
The cancer is slow-growing and does not always require immediate treatment.
Any treatment usually involves a combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy.
Source: Macmillan Cancer Support