Kottler Metal Products Donates Memorial Playground Sign-Post

Kottler Metal Products is proud to honor the memory of Nicole “Nikki” Lynn Deniker, who at the age of seven, lost a long and courageous battle with pediatric cancer.  Kottler Metal Products has donated the labor and material to help form a beautiful sign that marks the entrance to “Nikki’s World,” a playground and park dedicated to Nikki’s memory.


Nikki's World Playgound & Park Sign


"Nikki's Story"

As told by her mother, Karen Deniker

Nikki was four years old and very excited when she became a big sister on Jan. 26, 2007. I had my perfect family of four. Then exactly one month later, after a week of high temperatures, Nikki was diagnosed with leukemia. AML type. She was given a 50/50 chance of survival. It took three straight rounds of chemo to get her into remission, or 101 days in Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Then after only two short weeks home, Nikki and I returned to the hospital to have a bone marrow transplant. The transplant occurred on June 29, 2007 and her baby sister (Ashley) was the perfect match and only five months old. The transplant was a hard process but Nikki did great and came home July 27, 2007. She remained home with frequent clinic visits to the hospital and many restrictions at home. It was a long road with a lot of ups and downs, but Nikki was very brave.

Nikki had been out of the hospital for a full year, and we were very happy that Nikki was doing so great. Life was good! The best news was that all of the tests that she just had done at that time came back normal. No signs of leukemia. Nikki was looking forward to her 6th birthday party and going to first grade. Way to go Nikki, you did it! 

 Then on April 9, 2009, one week before our family was to go on her Make-A-Wish to Disney, she went for a routine clinic visit. Her blood work was abnormal even though she felt just fine. We returned the next day for a bone marrow biopsy and Nikki was admitted for a fever. Her leukemia was back. How could this be happening again? She continued to smile and play and make the best of her long hospitalization. I think she did better than me.

 It was very hard to get Nikki back into remission but her little body did it, and she had her second transplant on June 12, 2009. This was two years since her first transplant. They used unrelated umbilical cord stem cells this time. She had a rougher road this time and developed GVHD and a few other complications. Yet at one point we started to think she would be home, but then...her organs had enough....especially her lungs....

On August 18, 2009 Nikki couldn't do it anymore. Even though she beat cancer she couldn't beat everything else. My angel went to Heaven only 10 days after she turned seven.  Life without sweet Nikki is very hard and anyone who knew her will never be the same.