Stories of Hope - Heather Hawkins
"Receiving my Ovarian Cancer diagnosis was a profoundly, confronting experience…
One Monday morning in February 2007 I was living my life as a normal, busy working mum, who’d been experiencing a few general symptoms like abdominal bloating and discomfort and fatigue, yet by the afternoon I was a cancer patient whose future, and life, was now in question.
I am so incredibly grateful for the diligence of my family doctor, the skill of my gynaecological surgeon and the ongoing care of my oncologist who was up to date with the latest research - for I am fortunate, I am a survivor - and 13 years on, I am one of the good statistics against this devastating disease…
Yes, this experience has changed me. Changed me deeply.
I am a stronger, wiser version of my earlier self, living with a renewed purpose to help others, particularly those affected by ovarian cancer. It means the world to be an ambassador with Ovarian Cancer Australia and to raise awareness and funds.
And as for my adventurous spirit, the one that had lay dormant for so many years inside, it’s been reignited… since my recovery I’ve become a surf lifesaver, an ultra marathon runner competing in events at the geographic North Pole, Antarctica, the Sahara Desert and Outback Australia and I’ve trekked across the Nepalese Himalayas for 5 months with my adult children.
And I’ve achieved a long held dream of becoming a published author.
Every day I live with gratitude.
If you are recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, remember that throughout your journey, you are never alone. Your Teal community is here for you.
And remember, hold onto hope."
Heather is running 10 marathons in November for our fundraising challenge, Workout for Women. You can view Heather's progress or make a donation to Heather's fundraising page.