Leukaemia survivor Jami Hill in trek to Machu Picchu to raise funds

Leukaemia survivor Jami Hill in trek to Machu Picchu to raise funds

JAMI Hill might draw a few glances as she runs up and down Manning Stairs lugging a heavy pack on her back, tackling as many as 6000 steps in one go.

However, it is not the latest exercise craze sweeping Perth, but a way to prepare her for one of the biggest adventures of her life.

The 26-year-old Beaconsfield resident will head to South America this month to trek along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu as she looks to raise funds for those living with a disease she has had plenty of first-hand experience with.

Ms Hill was just seven when she was diagnosed with leukaemia after suffering from multiple ear infections.

“A quick thinking ENT surgeon ordered a series of blood tests and the next day I was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and commenced what eventuated to three years of chemotherapy,” she said.

“In my mind chemotherapy was just a big challenge and at the end I would feel well enough to be able to play sport and hang out with my friends again.”

Now in remission for almost 17 years, the biggest challenge of her life is behind her, but that has not stopped Ms Hill wanting to help others going through the same thing.

Having done the World’s Greatest Shave a number of times, Ms Hill said joining the 16 others for the four-day trek through Peru was a more personal challenge for her to undertake.

“I felt it was time to try to raise a significant amount of money; that meant choosing a challenging task that family and friends would want to support me on and encourage larger donations,” she said.

“The Machu Picchu trek represents a physical and mental challenge, post-chemo that isn’t always easy but will definitely be incredibly rewarding.

“I’m most definitely not speaking for all ‘survivors’ or ‘sufferers’; however I feel personally like I am in a position to educate and make a difference.

“Research into different treatment options is absolutely essential. If we could create a future where people don’t have to suffer in treatment or die from a diagnosis, why wouldn’t you?”

Locals can stay up to date with Ms Hill’s trip from May 17 at www.facebook.com/jamifundraising.

To donate to the cause, visit my.leukaemiafoundation.org.au/jami