Nikki Christou 02 19.02.2015

Schoolgirl Nikki Christou was diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening condition which left her with a facial disfigurement at the age of just six.

But where many people would have shut themselves away from the world, the YouTube star has shared her story with millions of people online.

Nikki’s life changed forever when she and her parents noticed veins popping up on the right side of her face.

The 12-year-old was diagnosed with arteriovenous malformation (AVM), where there are abnormal connections between arteries and veins.The condition causes intense pain, in most cases is incurable and leads to potentially fatal nosebleeds.

So far Nikki has undergone 28 operations and endured more than 300 hospital visits as doctors try to manage her condition.

She posts videos talking about her condition, gives make-up tips and offers advice to people struggling to cope with chronic illnesses.

To date, her channel has attracted four million views and she has 79,000 subscribers.

Now Nikki has been recognised by The Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards, which, in partnership with TSB, honour Britain’s unsung heroes.

Winners include inspirational people like Nikki, people who have risked their lives to save others, and adults and children who have overcome incredible obstacles.

Nikki will collect her award for Child of Courage on Monday night at a star studded ceremony at London’ Grosvenor House Hotel where guest will include Prime Minister Theresa May, Prince Charles, Simon Cowell and a host of celebrities.

Nikki, from North London, says: “It’s amazing I have so many followers.

“People contact me who have AVMs and other confidence issues and I want my channel to be a community where people find that they can imperfectly perfect in their own special way. I’ve found people who are my best friends now. It’s nice to know you’re not alone as you think.”

With her family and supporters, Nikki has also raised almost £400,000 for research into AVM at Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she has been treated, and University College London.

“I’m not going to lie and say it doesn’t get me down or make me angry,” Nikki says.

“But you can either be negative and not enjoy life or you can be positive and block out all the negativity in your life and live a lovely, healthy, joyful and happy life.”

Nikki and her parents had few places to turn at first, due to her condition being so rare, so they started The Butterfly AVM charity to raise AVM awareness, support and funds for research.

Nikki says: “I want people who have an AVM in the future not to have to go through all the things me and my family and other AVM survivors have gone through.”

Watch the Pride of Britain Awards on Tuesday 1st November on ITV at 8pm

One Response to 12 year old London Cypriot Nikki Christou wins Pride of Britain Award

  1. Karen says:

    What an amazing young lady x

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