First, I want to thank Build-A-Bear Workshop for everything that has been done with the Nikki Bear and for the cause of childhood cancer. It has meant so much to all of us and I know it has helped Nikki's family tremendously.
Nikki at Winterball 2001
When I think of Nikki, I first remember her spirit and how she was always the one leading cheers on the pool deck during our swim meets. She was always at the end of the lane cheering me on during my races, and she did the same for all our team members. When we were a little older, she was the one to get all the younger swimmers together to do a pre-meet cheer and make sure everyone's spirits were high.
I also remember when Nikki first got sick. Before she was diagnosed with cancer, doctors thought she just had something wrong with her leg. Even when she had a cast on, she came to practice and did homework while we swam because she didn't want to miss out. She was going to be ready to get right back in the pool when that cast came off.
Her memory inspires me every day. Even when I'm having a bad day or something isn't going my way, it doesn't compare to what Nikki was dealing with. She dealt with her setbacks with a smile on her face and her head held high, so there should be no reason that I can't do the same.
Visit Nikki's tool kit to see how you can get involved and make a difference.