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My name is Nikki, I am a childhood cancer survivor.

When I was 13 I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. Treatment started straight away.

During my treatment, I started having seizures and was placed in a medically induced coma in the intensive care unit. Every organ except my heart shut down. When I awoke, I had forgotten how to walk, eat and hold a pen. For 3 months, all I saw were the 4 walls of my hospital room.

On the 8th of May 2006, 2 years after my diagnosis, I was officially in remission – but the battle was far from over. I have osteoporosis, nerve damage in my feet, a lifelong chronic pain disorder called fibromyalgia, post-traumatic stress and survivor’s guilt. I need strong pain killers just to function each day.

But I was one of the lucky ones: I survived.

The bond I formed with other patients during my time in hospital was so strong; We became a family. Eight of my special friends, who fought alongside me, lost their battles. To this day I have trouble grasping why this happened, when they fought as hard as I did. Every one of their passings shattered me. I promised every one of my special friends that I would always fight for my angels and do whatever it takes to help other kids and families just like us.

Childhood cancer survivors like me may look ok on the outside, but our insides are ruined.

That’s why we need research to find more effective and safe treatments for kids and eventually a cure for every child.

I’m stoked to be trekking Peru in October 2016 to help Children’s Cancer Institute’s research. I will be trekking Machu Picchu in memory of every child who's life has been cut short by cancer.

If you’ve got a few spare dollars to help me raise $10,000 for Children's Cancer Institute's research, please do.

About Children's Cancer Institute

Every year more than 950 Australian children and adolescents will be diagnosed with cancer, and every week nearly three Australian children and adolescents will die of cancer. Children’s Cancer Institute exists solely to put a stop to this.

As the only independent medical research institute in Australia wholly dedicated to childhood cancer, our role is vital. Because, despite our progress, cancer still kills more children than any other disease.

Our task won’t be easy – childhood cancer is hugely complex – but we’re confident that with the brightest brains, the best facilities and the greatest determination, we will get the job done.

We are curing childhood cancer. It's not if. It's when.