I never had the pleasure of meeting Niko Dinovo but through his family, I feel like I have. I'm friendly with his aunt, Davina Resciniti as well as cousins and family members and my heart bleeds for the them.  They've been by his side since the horrific crash back in 2016 and they always kept the hope alive that that he would make it out of the hospital, walk again, play ball with his friends, root for his favorite sports teams, and have a life. They called that #Nikostrong. Sadly, yesterday we learned that Niko's body could no longer take the endless surgeries and the pain.  He passed away 16 months after the crash.  No family should ever have to endure what his family did, but through it all, the Dinovo's and the Resciniti's stayed beautifully positive and continue to do so with a new message that I would like to share with you.

#Nikostrong has been replaced by #Nikogifts and you don't need to have known Niko to feel the impact of the message, or what it means.

'My amazing nephew has changed, inspired, motivated, united and strengthened MANY people.  Each having their own story of the #Nikogift he provided'

-Davina Resciniti , Niko's aunt

His aunt Davina explained to me through a text message these words, 'My amazing nephew has changed, inspired, motivated, united and strengthened MANY people. Each having their own story of the #Nikogift he provided.'

That's when it hit me as well as the thousands who followed this tragic story but never actually met Niko himself. A #Nikogift could be about strength and courage, perhaps it's about awareness of the dangers driving while impaired, or maybe it's about how we should never take life for granted as it literally could change in a split second, or about how "family first" shouldn't be just a motto, but a way of life.  Or maybe a #Nikogift is all of those, as it has been for me and many of you.  Even if you weren't lucky enough to have met the young man.

Rest in peace, Niko

#Nikostrong

#Nikogifts