Nikki Blunden: Her cancer battle in pictures

Tributes have poured in for Nikki Blunden who died last week months after winning a public battle to receive life-prolonging drugs on the NHS.

The terminally ill mum-of-one passed away at her home in Bromhall Road, Dagenham, on Monday at the age of 38.

Dozens of heartfelt tributes have been posted on Facebook by those who knew her but also by strangers touched by her courageous battle against the disease.

Alison Lynch wrote: “Nikki will be deeply missed, but never forgotten. Her cheekiness, wit, charm and strength can be seen every day in [her son] Thomas.” And Julie Bullard posted: “You fought with nothing but dignity and courage and I am sure your family are so proud of you. I shall remember you as the pretty hairdresser who had a smile and a conversation for everyone.”

A funeral open to all will be held at St Thomas More Church in Longbridge Road, Barking, at 10am on April 30.

This will be followed by a committal at Forest Park Crematorium and a wake at the Rendezvous Bar and Grill in High Road, Chadwell Heath.

Nikki requested mourners wear something pink and avoid all-black attire. She also asked that people donate to St Francis Hospice at instead of giving flowers.

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The former hairdresser, who leaves behind husband Richard, 38, and son Thomas, four, was denied the potentially life-prolonging drug Lapatinib last year by the now defunct NHS Barking and Dagenham.

A generous stranger offered to pay for the �800-a-week medicine and her tumours began to shrink. In November it was agreed the drugs would be paid for by the government’s emergency drugs fund, but sadly they stopped working before Christmas.