May 8, 2019
Tokyo--Prominent Japanese swimmer Rikako Ikee, 18, who was diagnosed with leukemia in February, posted a message Wednesday about her medical treatment, on her official website launched on the same day.
In a handwritten message to her supporters, Ikee said her treatment is "proceeding smoothly." The swimmer said she is spending her time at the hospital "enjoying coloring books and puzzles."
While noting that she sometimes get discouraged, Ikee said she feels grateful for "all the encouraging words" she has received. "I promise myself I will not be defeated and will endure until I am able to overcome my illness," Ikee said.
Ikee tweeted on Feb. 12 that she had tested positive for the disease, after returning from a training camp in Australia earlier than scheduled due to poor health.
Her relatives said on the site that they are encouraged every day by Rikako, who never complains about her disease.
At the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Ikee won six gold medals and was named the most valuable player, raising hopes for a medal finish in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Although her disease cast doubt over whether she can compete in the Olympics, Ikee's coach Jiro Miki told a press conference on the day of her diagnosis announcement that her participation had not been completely ruled out.
Ikee's website allows fans to send words of encouragement to the swimming star.
The swimmer had previously posted information about her illness and treatment on her Twitter account. Jiji Press
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