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Niko was diagnosed in the summer of 1991 at the age of 7 years old. Following treatments and a year of chemotherapy, he achieved remission, and returned to school. However, the cancer returned in 1996, leading to aggressive treatments and a stem cell transplant. Niko spent 10 months in the hospital, but returned home once again in remission. Sadly, a year and a half later, the cancer resurfaced.

Towards the end of his life, Niko shared with his mom Pat that he had learned a lot through this journey: "Always be positive and happy, live life one day at a time and never, never give up".

Niko passed away March 28, 1999 at the age of 15.

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