I am taking part in Blackmores Sydney Running Festival and TCS NYC Marathon to raise much needed funds for The GI Cancer Institute. Their work is really important, and I want to do what I can to help. But there is only so much I can do on my own. You can help too, by donating to my page. Any amount you can give makes a difference! You can also support me by encouraging others to get involved, too. Please email the link to my page to your friends and family, or share it on social media. I will be running the TCS NYC Marathon in November later this year and hope to raise awareness about GI cancer as my Godmother and Great Aunt Heather recently passed away after 2 and 1/2 years of struggling with this terrible disease. Devastating at any stage in life but for her, the diagnosis came just as she was about to enjoy retirement with the love of her life. I wanted to do something motivational and inspirational for her as felt she would be facing this battle each and every day. Heather quickly outlived her initial prognosis of 3-5 months and found it hard to get back into enjoying the simple things in life, as much as she physically could. I initially started running half marathons in 2014, which was a massive achievement for me given I couldn’t even run 5km the previous year! Heather’s battle was life long so I knew I couldn’t stop at half marathons and we often spoke about me aiming for the TCS NYC Marathon for my 30th. Her battle was constant, both physically and mentally and I wanted to show her that she wasn’t alone and that we were all right behind her. It was an emotional moment when I found out that I was successful on my first and only attempt at the ballot for the marathon, especially after Heather’s recent passing. I still remember the first time I did a “long” run. We weren’t sure if Heather would make it to September, 2014 which was when I completed the Blackmore’s half marathon. I was worried I wouldn’t make the distance, given my lack of previous long distance running experience. That is given my lack of long distance running I did a specific long run of 22km a few weeks out from race day with the finish line being Heather’s front door. This was a truely emotional and momentous occasion for both of us, one that I still remember. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a determined individual who will set out to achieve anything I put my mind to, even if that involves running 42km. I know it won’t be easy and will require a lot of focus and dedication on my part, whilst I juggle full time work, a long distance relationship, a Masters degree - and a life. Raising awareness for the GI Cancer Institute is very important given the nature of pancreatic cancer, along with the prognosis and limited treatment options. Like many people out there these days, cancer has impacted my life considerably. My devoted grandmother died of cervical cancer aged 61 and an uncle from an inoperable brain tumour at 49. Both my grandfather and uncle have also had prostate cancer. Raising funds for cancer research is therefore essential. Not only do I enjoy raising awareness and funds for the GI Institute but the main reason I run is for Heather. Even though she is no longer here with us today, I know she brings her fighting spirit along with me on every run I do. Thank you for your generosity and support -- it means a lot to me. Together we can help The GI Cancer Institute create the world we want to see.