Trekking the Great Wall for Rochelle

(From Left: Sister Isabel, Daughters Jessica and Sara, Rochelle and Ruth)

Ruth Nissim has never been one to shy away from a challenge. She has trekked to Everest Base Camp and along the Larapinta Trail and in October 2017, she will trek along the Great Wall of China for a very personal reason.

“In August, 2014, our family lost a very special person — my beautiful big sister and hero, Rochelle. Rochelle had been feeling unwell for some time and was finally diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. After fighting a long and difficult 16 — month battle, Rochelle passed away holding her husband and both daughter’s hands. She was only 57 years old” Ruth explained, holding back tears.

“There were so many times through Rochelle’s journey that it all felt quite surreal and I kept thinking this can’t be happening to my big sister. Rochelle had so much to live for – a wonderful husband, two beautiful daughters, two admiring sons-in-law and, her pride and joy, her gorgeous grandson. Her family meant everything to her and she wanted so much to live” Ruth continued.

In honour of Rochelle, her family, in 2014, began #PurpleOurWorld, to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer and in 2015, a strategic alliance was formed with the GI Cancer Institute, the Garvan Research Foundation, Pancare Foundation and Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation.

Ruth has chosen to support the GI Cancer Institute and hopes to raise a minimum of $5,000 to fund innovative research into pancreatic cancer.

“This is my way to continue to be Rochelle’s voice. Pancreatic cancer is a terrible disease and the survival rate hasn’t changed in over 30 years. Only 6.8% of people diagnosed will still be here in five years. More people need to be aware of this silent killer and more funds need to be raised to change the statistics” Ruth said.

Ruth wants to invite others to join her on the trek. “It’s a great way to do something special with like – minded people and you’ll come back knowing that you’ve made a difference” Ruth explained “I miss Rochelle terribly but I know that Rochelle would be happy and proud of me for taking on this challenge”

To join Ruth on the Great Wall of China challenge, visit: