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Research fellowship launched in memory of journalist

A research fellowship has been set up in memory of a former regional journalist who died less than a year after being diagnosed with cancer.

Leicester Mercury writer Nikki Rivers, better known to readers as Nikki Parry, died in January 2011 after a short battle with pancreatic cancer.

And now, after two years of fundraising by her friends and family, the Leicestershire-based charity Hope Against Cancer is supporting a £75,000 Nikki Rivers Fellowship to study mutations present in cancer-causing genes.

Nikki, pictured above, was 64 when she died, just seven months after being diagnosed.

She joined the paper as a news reporter in 1980, going on to become a sub-editor and page designer four years later.

In 1989, she was promoted to assistant features editor.

Nikki, who married her husband Barry in 1991, retired from the Mercury in 1997 but continued to work as a freelance writer and editor.

Her sister Tessa Bradon said: “She was in the last weeks of her life when she said to me how much she would have liked to raise funds for cancer research but at that stage she was too ill to do so.

“I hope she would have felt proud of our efforts.

“My wish is that we can support research into a method of early diagnosis for pancreatic cancer so that others will have more chance of successful treatment.”

The three-year fellowship has been awarded to Professor Jacqui Shaw, from the department of cancer studies and molecular medicine at the University of Leicester.

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  • April 30, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Nikki became a good friend after I joined the Merc in 1987. I worked closely with her, Paul Webb and others on the subs desk to give the paper a facelift after Alex Leys became editor.
    Sadly, you lose contact and I did not realise she had died until
    reading this story. I wish Professor Shaw every success in her project.

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