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Japan swimming star battling leukemia posts photos on 19th birthday

This photo posted by swimming star Rikako Ikee on her Twitter account shows her celebrating her 19th birthday. (via Twitter)

TOKYO -- Japanese swimming star Rikako Ikee, who revealed in February that she had been diagnosed with leukemia, posted messages and photos on her official website and Twitter account on July 4, her 19th birthday.

"I was able to have many good experiences in the year I was 18. I hope to have more good experiences and days as a 19-year-old," Ikee posted on her official website.

The message on the website begins with "I turned 19!" Ikee uploaded photos including one showing her surrounded by friends at her birthday party. "The last time I was temporarily discharged from hospital and went home, I was very surprised that a lot of my friends had gathered for me," she reported.

Ikee also tweeted, "I want to eat cake with delicious fresh cream on it when I go home."

(Japanese original by Miaki Tsuburaya, Sports News Department)

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