Nikita Valensize

Nikita Valensize

My name is Nikita and in 2014, my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. This life-changing news made me and my family feel powerless. I wanted to do something to help Dad and others who are living with GI cancer.

By the time my father was diagnosed, the cancer had already spread, operating was not an option. After researching GI cancer, I realised just how little funding and research is dedicated to early detection and treatment options, which was very frustrating, to say the least.

Over a five year period, the rate of survival for people with cancer of the stomach is 27%, bowel 67% and only 6% of people contracting pancreatic cancer live more than five years.

In 2012, more than 12,000 people died of gastro-intestinal cancer- more than twice the combined total for breast and prostate cancer. It is imperative that we improve the survival rates for GI cancer.

I  set myself the challenge of running 10km in July, in the Run Melbourne event, which I achieved. I’m now taking on the Melbourne Marathon and I want you to join me if you can.   For someone who openly acknowledges that I rarely do things out of my comfort zone, this is no easy challenge.

However, Dad is the one facing the biggest challenge and he’s doing it with a smile on his face and an unwavering positive attitude- that’s my biggest inspiration!   Something like learning to run is such a small challenge in comparison to what Dad and so many others are facing.

I am running to raise funds for the GI Cancer Institute in honour of my father and his fight with pancreatic cancer and I also want to ensure the funds will help others in similar situations. Most importantly, I want to make my dad proud.

Please join me in the race and register at
or support me at