Nikki Grahame fundraiser is reactivated to help pay for her funeral and help others

Nikki Grahame’s fundraiser has been reactivated following her tragic death to help her heartbroken family pay for her funeral and help others with eating disorders.  

It was announced over the weekend that Nikki, who rose to fame on Big Brother in 2006, had died aged 38 on Friday morning, following a 30-year battle with anorexia.

The fundraiser was initially set up a month ago by Nikki’s friends and raised £65,000 for the Big Brother star to have specialist treatment for her eating disorder. 

In her memory: Nikki Grahame's fundraiser has been reactivated following her tragic death (pictured in 2018)

In her memory: Nikki Grahame's fundraiser has been reactivated following her tragic death (pictured in 2018)

In her memory: Nikki Grahame’s fundraiser has been reactivated following her tragic death (pictured in 2018) 

In the wake of her death, the GoFundMe appeal has been reactivated to help her family pay for her funeral and to raise money to donate to a charity to help those suffering from eating disorders.  

Her friends posted the following message on her page: ‘We just wanted to let you know that we are turning donations back on for anyone that would like to make a donation in Nikki’s memory, as lots of people have been asking if they can still donate.

‘An amount will be used for the funeral costs and the remaining funds will be used to go towards an organisation that helps those suffering with eating disorders, the crucial funding that has been lacking to help people in these awful situations has not been addressed, we will use this money to the best of our ability to try and stem this horrific, debilitating illness.

Big Brother icon: It was announced over the weekend that Nikki had died aged 38 on Friday morning, following a 30-year battle with anorexia(pictured in 2006)

Big Brother icon: It was announced over the weekend that Nikki had died aged 38 on Friday morning, following a 30-year battle with anorexia(pictured in 2006)

Big Brother icon: It was announced over the weekend that Nikki had died aged 38 on Friday morning, following a 30-year battle with anorexia(pictured in 2006)

Donations: In the wake of her death, the GoFundMe appeal has been reactivated to help her family pay for her funeral and to raise money to help those suffering from eating disorders

Donations: In the wake of her death, the GoFundMe appeal has been reactivated to help her family pay for her funeral and to raise money to help those suffering from eating disorders

Donations: In the wake of her death, the GoFundMe appeal has been reactivated to help her family pay for her funeral and to raise money to help those suffering from eating disorders

'Nikki is now an angel with wings': The charity hasn't yet been selected but tributes and donations continued to pour in from heartbroken fans

'Nikki is now an angel with wings': The charity hasn't yet been selected but tributes and donations continued to pour in from heartbroken fans

‘Nikki is now an angel with wings’: The charity hasn’t yet been selected but tributes and donations continued to pour in from heartbroken fans

‘We also would like to thank people who have sent private messages with lovely words about Nikki, she would be so thankful.’

The charity hasn’t yet been selected but tributes and donations continued to pour in from heartbroken fans. 

One wrote: ‘Nikki is now an angel with wings. Fly free and without pain and worry knowing that you will always be loved and cherished here xxxx’

Another added: ‘First watched Nikki on Big Brother, 15 years ago, and had never seen anybody quite like her in tv or real life before. Such a unique character with a zest for life. It is a testament to Nikki that she is still well known by my generation after so many years – not many reality tv contestants have that impact on pop culture! I am truly saddened by her passing.’

A third chimed: ‘Simply heartbreaking’. 

At the time of writing donations surpassed £69,000.   

Iconic: Nikki became a Big Brother icon when she appeared on the reality show in 2006

Iconic: Nikki became a Big Brother icon when she appeared on the reality show in 2006

Iconic: Nikki became a Big Brother icon when she appeared on the reality show in 2006

Statement: The Big Brother icon died just one month after her friends started a GoFundMe page for anorexia treatment

Statement: The Big Brother icon died just one month after her friends started a GoFundMe page for anorexia treatment

Statement: The Big Brother icon died just one month after her friends started a GoFundMe page for anorexia treatment

It comes after it was revealed Nikki’s loved ones believed her health was improving ahead of her tragic death on Friday – leaving them in total shock.  

The star left a hospital where she had been staying at for anorexia treatment just 24 hours before she died, after being discharged from emergency treatment.

Nikki also assured her friends she was ‘all good’ in a harrowing final Facebook post just before she entered a hospital for her eating disorder.

An insider explained that due to a lack of beds Nikki had been discharged and was due to attend a specialist clinic but tragically never made it. 

The source told MailOnline: ‘She was discharged from a general hospital where she’d been for three weeks [but] there wasn’t a bed available on an eating disorder unit, NHS or private…

‘They deemed her well enough after she’d put on weight and was in good spirits… 

‘Her loved ones pleaded with them not to as she wasn’t ready and was then supposed to enter a private outpatient clinic from this Monday, she sadly never got to and died within 24 hours of leaving hospital.’

'It's been really, really hard': Her mother Sue recently claimed her daughter's 30-year battle with anorexia worsened because of the coronavirus pandemic (pictured together)

'It's been really, really hard': Her mother Sue recently claimed her daughter's 30-year battle with anorexia worsened because of the coronavirus pandemic (pictured together)

‘It’s been really, really hard’: Her mother Sue recently claimed her daughter’s 30-year battle with anorexia worsened because of the coronavirus pandemic (pictured together) 

A source went on to The Sun: ‘Given the severity of Nikki’s condition and the strain already put on her body from 30 years of battling anorexia, there were major reservations about scaling back her care.  

‘Although there were concerns that Nikki still needed heightened care, she did seem to be doing relatively well and her discharge was a cause for cautious optimism among her inner circle. 

‘Nikki, unfortunately, had suffered many relapses in her life, but this time she was more determined than ever to get better and the outpouring of support buoyed her.

‘That she lost her battle when she appeared to be moving in the right direction made her passing all the more shocking and heartbreaking.’

Nikki’s final Facebook post was on February 27, when she uploaded a snap of a vase of roses, thanking the sender for gifting them to her.

Asked by a friend in the comments, Nikki’s last-ever Facebook activity saw her reply: ‘All good darling.’ 

The star, who shot to fame on the 2006 series of Big Brother, began suffering from anorexia as a child.

After first being admitted to an eating disorder unit at the age of eight, she was force-fed through a tube, and has caused long-term damage to her oesophagus from years of purging.   

Pals: Nikki previously dated fellow Big Brother star Pete Bennett, but he called off their romance after just a month and the pair remained friends (pictured in 2006)

Pals: Nikki previously dated fellow Big Brother star Pete Bennett, but he called off their romance after just a month and the pair remained friends (pictured in 2006)

Pals: Nikki previously dated fellow Big Brother star Pete Bennett, but he called off their romance after just a month and the pair remained friends (pictured in 2006)

Heartbreaking: Pete had shared several sweet tributes to his late friend on Instagram

Heartbreaking: Pete had shared several sweet tributes to his late friend on Instagram

Heartbreaking: Pete had shared several sweet tributes to his late friend on Instagram

Nikki’s sad death was confirmed online by her friend Leon Dee on Saturday. A statement on the GoFundMe page read: ‘It is with great sadness, we have to let you know that our dear friend Nikki passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April.

‘It breaks our hearts to know that someone who is so precious was taken from us at such a young age. Nikki not only touched the lives of millions of people, but also her friends and family who will miss her immensely.

‘We would like to request privacy at this difficult time, while Nikki’s friends and family process the sad news. Full details will be released as and when we know them.

‘All donations have been greatly appreciated and it was heartwarming for everyone including Nikki to see how much she was loved.’  

While a statement from Nikki’s representative shared on Saturday said: ‘It is with immeasurable sadness that Nikki Grahame passed away in the early hours of Friday 9th April 2021. Please respect the privacy of Nikki’s friends and family at this tragic and difficult time.’ 

Just two weeks ago, Nikki’s mother claimed her daughter’s 30-year battle with anorexia nervosa worsened because of the coronavirus pandemic.

During an interview on This Morning, Susan Grahame, 66, revealed the Big Brother icon struggled with the isolation periods and gym closures brought by the nationwide lockdowns, admitting: ‘COVID-19 really put the cap on it.’

On how her daughter took a turn for the worse amid the global crisis, Susan told hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby: ‘I think last year really put the cap on it with Covid.   

‘It sounds crazy but even stuff like gyms closing, which is quite important to Nikki as she needs to know she can exercise.    

WHAT IS ANOREXIA?

Anorexia is a serious mental illness where a person restricts their food intake, which often causes them to be severely underweight.

Many also exercise excessively.

Some sufferers may experience periods of bingeing, followed by purging. 

Sufferers often have a distorted view of themselves and think they are larger than they really are.

Untreated, patients can suffer loss of muscle and bone strength, as well as depression, low libido and menstruation ceasing in women.

In severe cases, patients can experience heart problems and organ damage.

Behavioural signs of anorexia include people saying they have already eaten or will do later, as well as counting calories, missing meals, hiding food and eating slowly.

As well as weight loss, sufferers may experience insomnia, constipation, bloating, feeling cold, hair loss, and swelling of the hands, face and feet.

Treatment focuses on therapy and self-help groups to encourage healthy eating and coping mechanisms.

Source: Beat Eating Disorders

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‘The isolation, she couldn’t see anyone. I offered to stay with her but she said ”I need to stay in my own home”. It’s been really hard for her, really hard. 

‘She had terminal loneliness… she was cut off, spending too much time on her own, and nothing to think about other than food.’ 

Susan also insisted Nikki was getting back on track before the pandemic, sharing: ‘It all came to a grinding halt.   

‘With Nikki, she would get through the year knowing she had friends abroad and would visit them, and she spent a lot of time last year cancelling all her holidays.’   

In the wake of her tragic death dozens of celebrities have paid tribute to Nikki, including her ex Pete Bennett.

Speaking on Monday, he revealed he jumped in a cab and rushed to her side after learning about her illness.

Pete admitted he thought the ‘love he had for Nikki would boost her up’, when he went to visit with his girlfriend – who is a mental health nurse.

Speaking on Sky News, Pete explained his reaction to seeing the fundraising page, and said: ‘I was like: ‘Oh my God, she’s really really ill.’ 

‘I just got in the cab and went over there with my girlfriend, who is a mental health nurse. We just tried to give her love and support.

‘Me and Nikki had a great connection. I thought the love I had for her would boost her up and get her out of the darkness.’ 

He continued: ‘My heart goes out to everyone who was trying to help her.

‘Carly, her best friend, I know is really struggling, my heart goes out to her. I know what it’s like to lose a best friend, especially when you’re trying to save them.

‘I knew she was ill in the last lockdown – she told me not to say. She rang me up and said ‘Pete I’m ill, come and get me’ – I was busy at the time.’

Explaining the affect lockdown has had on those who suffer from mental illness, Pete said: ‘This has really highlighted it. Look what it’s done. It has taken one of the best characters that the world has ever seen. This is rubbish, man.’ 

A Big Brother icon: Nikki Grahame’s best bits on the hit reality show

Get her some BOTTLED water!

Early on into her stay in the Big Brother house, Nikki was suffering from a migraine and only bottled water would help make it budge. 

She said: ‘I need water, I’m not drinking that tap stuff, it’s absolutely disgusting, I actually haven’t got energy to talk to you I feel so dehydrated.’

Despite being reassured the water had been filtered twice in the house, Nikki was still not having any of it and burst into tears.

She said: ‘I’m not enjoying it, I’m not. I hate it, I f*****g hate it!’

Memorable: Nikki was accompanied by housemate Dawn Blake to the diary room when she launched into a meltdown over bottled water

Memorable: Nikki was accompanied by housemate Dawn Blake to the diary room when she launched into a meltdown over bottled water

Memorable: Nikki was accompanied by housemate Dawn Blake to the diary room when she launched into a meltdown over bottled water

The stolen bed

A tipsy Nikki also ensured to command attention after repeating ‘that’s my bed’ several times when she found another contestant in her bed.

Sitting in the infamous gold chair she told BB: ‘Someones stolen Nikki’s bed, it’s my bed I don’t like it and I just don’t like it’ 

During the rant, Nikki was dressed in suspenders following a challenge the housemates were set.  

Air con woes

The star always seemed to be cold in the Big Brother house and arguing with others over the temperature setting on the air con.

After wrapping up as well as she could, Nikki asked BB: ‘How are we supposed to get out of bed in the morning with the f*****g air con? 

‘It’s a blizzard, I’m going to catch a cold’

Made the show: The star would often throw her arms around while reclining in the gold diary room chair and making her epic rants

Made the show: The star would often throw her arms around while reclining in the gold diary room chair and making her epic rants

Made the show: The star would often throw her arms around while reclining in the gold diary room chair and making her epic rants

The cornflakes

Nikki was left very unimpressed after housemate Richard Newman finished off the cornflakes – and told her there was porridge oats she could have instead.

She explained: ‘He’s had four bowls of Cornflakes yesterday! Four! And they’re not just normal bowls, they’re f*****g mountains of Cornflakes! 

‘Like a mountain, and a whole bag of sugar. We’re going to run out of sugar.’

Who is SHE? 

Perhaps Nikki’s most iconic moment came after housemate Susie Verrico put her up for eviction and the star stormed into the diary room.

Arriving in her bikini, Nikki fumed about Susie decision despite ‘not even knowing her’, telling BB that she was feeling ‘very venomous and angry’.

Nikki’s next line cemented her in reality show history – and provided plenty of memes in years to come – as she said: ‘Who is she? Who is she? Who is she? Where did you find her?

And Nikki ended the rant with: ‘I can feel the venom pouring out of me as I breathe. I hate her, I tell you now. I’m going to find it very difficult to be pleasant to it. I don’t even want to look at it.’  

Iconic: Perhaps Nikki's most memorable moment came when she declared: 'Who is she? Who is she? Who is she? Where did you find her?'

Iconic: Perhaps Nikki's most memorable moment came when she declared: 'Who is she? Who is she? Who is she? Where did you find her?'

Iconic: Perhaps Nikki’s most memorable moment came when she declared: ‘Who is she? Who is she? Who is she? Where did you find her?’

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