Nikki Christou suffers from a rare Craniofacial AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation), a condition that only three in a million people suffer from. However, that doesn't hold her back. She is making a name for herself on YouTube, gaining 35,000 subscribers and achieving millions of views on her videos since she was diagnosed with the condition five years ago.

AVMs are abnormal connections between arteries and veins which normally exists at birth and can appear anywhere in the body. It causes veins to enlarge which leads to intense pain and serious bleeding. Nikki's is especially serious as it covers part of her face.

To manage the condition, Nikki has had over twenty six major operations and over three hundred and fifty visits to Great Ormond Street Hospital since she was diagnosed. Her condition is so rare that there is limited interest by pharmacological companies to invest into research to discover new medicines, leading her parents to set up the Butterfly AVM charity to help raise awareness and funds for fellow AVM sufferers.

Nikki has turned her condition into a positive, setting up her own YouTube channel where she proudly displays her AVM, and talks about everything from her favourite recipes, to make up techniques and even her favourite Christmas gifts. The videos have become a source for of positive inspiration not just for fellow AVM suffers but all young people from all over the world.

Her positivity has won awards for her bravery and fundraising achievements, including being awarded a WellChild Award by Prince Harry and winning a National Diana Award, which are awarded to young people who help change the world for the better. In the past five years she has inspired people to raise over £250,000 for AVM research.

Speaking about her YouTube success, Nikki said "I am so happy that my channel has been doing so well! I just want to make videos that people will enjoy and show people that, whatever you have going on in life, that you shouldn't let anything stand in the way of achieving your dreams and doing what makes you happy."

Her father George Christou added "Nikki is such an amazing girl and what she's achieved is phenomenal. Every day she is an inspiration for me, and now it seems she's inspiring the whole world - showing them that you should never let anything stand in the way of your dreams."

"AVM's are so rare that simply not enough research has been done into treating them. Our goal is that nobody should have to suffer AVMs alone, and we aim to provide support for sufferers and fund research to uncover better treatments and ultimately a cure."

The Butterfly AVM charity aims to raise funds for specific research into peripheral, brain and extremity AVMs with the aim to improve treatments and find a cure, to raise awareness about AVMs, support AVM sufferers and their families, inform AVM sufferers about new treatments and establish a comprehensive list of treatment centres, specialist interventional radiologists, surgeons and doctors.

For more information visit www.butterflyavmcharity.org.uk.

You can watch one of Nikki's videos below:

Nikki (purple dress) was awarded a WellChild Award by Prince Harry

Nikki (purple dress) was awarded a WellChild Award by Prince Harry


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk


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