A Rare Condition Hasn't Stopped This 11-Year-Old Vlogger From Becoming A Success
At just 11 years old, London-based beauty vlogger Nikki Lilly has over 2 million YouTube views and over 35,000 subscribers. Her cheerful videos feature makeup tutorials, baking tips, beauty product hauls, and other other digital doses of positivity, alongside occasional discussions of her health. Nikki is living with an AVM, or arteriovenous malformation, a rare condition that's characterized by an abnormal connection between arteries and veins.
Nikki's AVM manifests on her face, but can also develop on other parts of patients' bodies, like the heart, lungs, arms, or legs. According to the American Stroke Association, it is estimated that about one in every 200-500 people—less than one percent of the general population—might have an AVM. Treatment varies based on patients' individual situations, but can include surgery to remove the AVM or to block off the abnormal blood vessels that supply the AVM. Nikki was born with the condition, but wasn't diagnosed until she was 6 years old. She has shared that because of her condition, she experiences life-threatening nose bleeds and has to undergo frequent medical treatments.
"This has really interfered with my life, I used be in all the clubs at school and see my friends a lot, and just lead a really perfectly normal life...when I was seven, I started realizing I'm going to be needing operations, treatments, having to quit clubs, not being able to do as much stuff, and being [occasionally] homeschooled," she told her YouTube followers. "It was quite scary, I did feel sorry for myself at first, but then I realized there are so many things I can do." Instead of letting her AVM stop her in her tracks, Nikki found new ways to create joy in her life. At just 8 years old, she launched her YouTube channel. She also founded her own organization, The Butterfly AVM Charity, which has raised more than £ 160,000 (about $ 227,539) to the AVM research fund.
Nikki shares a new video each Sunday . Her recent uploads include a white chocolate cupcake tutorial, a prom-themed makeup tutorial, onscreen hangouts with her affable older siblings, and hauls featuring coveted beauty brands. Besides being a great resource for beauty tips, her videos are an amazing lesson in living life to the fullest, no matter how many obstacles show up along the way. "Focus on the happy things, not the sad things," Nikki wisely shared in a video. "You can either be negative and just not enjoy life or you can be positive...and live a lovely, healthy, joyful, and happy life." Well said, Nikki.
Photo Credit: Nikki Lilly / YouTube