A memorial service is to be held in Hastings this weekend to honour the memory of a ‘bright and beautiful’ girl who died earlier this year.
Fifteen-year-old Nikki Katayama–Nilsson, died on October 2 this year, following a 14-month battle with an aggressive form of brain tumour known as DIPG.
Orginally born in New Zealand, Nikki had moved to Hastings with her family in 2006 and attended Dudley Infant School, All Saints and Hastings Academy.
Her parents, Kenneth Nilsson and Ikko Katayama, no longer live in the town having moved to Sweden after Nikki’s diagnosis.
But the couple returned this week to pay tribute to their daughter’s memory.
To do this they plan to hold a memorial service for Nikki’s friends and supporters at the East Hill this Saturday (December 9).
Kenneth said: “We want to thank everybody in person. We are incredibly grateful for the support we had from Nikki’s friends and the whole community here.
“We are blessed and so very grateful for the time we had with our dearest child, but now so incredibly heartbroken that our journey together in the cruellest way has ended.
“She was a bright and smart kid who had every chance of a great future.”
Kenneth says the memorial service, which is to be held on Saturday morning, is intended to give Nikki’s friends an opportunity to share their memories and say goodbye.
He says the family also wants to thank all of those who helped raise money towards getting Nikki experimental treatment either in Mexico or at London’s Harley Street Clinic, which she sadly never had the opportunity to take.
According to Kenneth the cost of each treatment in Mexico would have cost in excess of £22,000 a time, requiring an enormous level of support.
The family wants to thank all those in the town who helped raise money for this treatment, in particular Hastings Academy, which raised more than £1,320 at a mufti day, and Nikki’s friend Hannah, who raised more than £375 in donations.
Nikki came from a truly international family, holding several nationalities and speaking three languages.
With a Swedish father and a Japanese mother, Nikki herself was born and raised in New Zealand before moving to Hastings.