Nikkie de Jager talks about cancer diagnosis and the loss of brother

Mikai felt ‘a weird lump’ in the back of his knee at the age of 12, says Nikkie in the new episode of her YouTube docuseries Layers of Me. “We joked about it then,” said the make-up guru. “You’re 12, what could this be?” Nikkie’s family did not find out, but then the message came. “On Christmas Eve we heard it was cancer. He was so optimistic, so strong. He said okay, I have cancer, now we’re going to fight it.”

Nikkie says that Mikai ‘never whined, never said he didn’t feel well’. “If you asked him, he replied, I’m fine. He’s the strongest little man I know.” The YouTuber acknowledges that ‘everyone has their own way of dealing with things’. “Some stop at every painful moment, others focus on something else,” she explains. Nikkie threw herself fully into her work. “I did everything I could not to let it come to me, because if it did, I couldn’t take it anymore.”

“You do your best to ignore it with work. The more work the better”, Nikkie continues. But then comes the moment when Mikai no longer wants to be treated. “He said: I just want to do fun things from now on, so that I don’t have to lie sick in a bed anymore.” He passed away in 2018. “In a way it was necessary to lose Mikai to get my priorities straight. Losing a family member shook me up.”

Nikkie’s documentary was made by her best friend Linda Hakeboom. But the documentary maker really didn’t want to do it at first. You can see why in the video below.


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