To start, describe yourself in 5 words…
Driven. Honest. Organised. Passionate. Resilient.
What’s your favourite mantra or motto to live by?
Find hope in health
For those who don’t know, share a little of your story with us…
I’m happily married to my husband and have two fur-children who I love to walk with. I’m a proud serving member of the Royal Australian Air Force for 17 years. Six months after my overseas deployment to the Middle East, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. For most, this would be the worst news to them but to me it was a blessing in disguise. It’s what helped me stop grieving the passing of both my parents and realise that life was for living. The age old saying of you don’t appreciate what you have until you don’t have it is so true. I’m just thankful I survived cancer and learnt the valuable lessons I needed to learn so I could truly appreciate life for what it was, a gift. To live and love is the most precious gift and one I’m grateful for every single day.
Through it all, what was the hardest thing you’ve had to overcome?
I’ve been faced with more than the average life challenges in my 44 years, and losing both parents months apart was by far was the hardest things I’ve ever been faced with. If I were to be totally honest with you I haven’t overcome it, even eight years on. I don’t think I’ll ever truly get over losing them because losing a loved one isn’t something you ever get over. It is however something you learn to live with and it just takes time, that’s all.
What was the pinnacle moment that turned you into a true believer?
My Breast Cancer Diagnosis at 40. That was my big wake-up call because life granted me a second chance which I’m forever grateful for. I’ve experienced so many amazing opportunities thanks to my breast cancer + mental health. Things like getting actively involved in the ADF Mental Health Campaign to help raise awareness. To representing my country in swimming as a wounded, injured or ill serving member at the Invictus Games in London 2014. Speedo Australia found me and got on board by gifting me swimwear and accessories to help in my training preparation. These kind of things don’t normally happen to me but they did and it made me realise I matter. We all matter in our own way even if we don’t realise it. Life may not be easy but it’s worth it, I can promise you.
What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learnt?
To never give up on myself. I’m a get knocked down seven times and stand up eight times kind of girl.
If you could go back and tell yourself something, what would you say?
To let go of the past and embrace the future because it’ll be worth it.
Would you do anything differently?
Once upon a time I’d say a I’d do a lot of things differently in retrospect. But now, I’m older and wiser and I know better. What’s behind me is in the past and I can’t change that. Where as my future is right in front of me and that’s where all my focus and energy is placed. I’m more interested in where I’m going next, what I’m going to be doing and what lessons I’m going to learn along the way. That’s what I’m most excited about, the endless possibilities that await me in my future ahead.
What do you hope people can learn or gain from hearing your story?
To inspired women to find hope in health by taking imperfect action every day. That no matter what the circumstance, you’re not alone and you can always find hope be it in physical health, mental health or spiritual health and to never ever give up trying no matter what your goal or dream is. It’s worth the effort.
And some fast fires, just to finish off…
Cheese or chocolate? Chocolate
Summer or Winter? Summer
Smoothie or juice? Smoothie
Books or movies? Books
Tea or coffee? Coffee
Yoga or boxing? Yoga
Finish this sentence…
The most important thing in life is… loving yourself and never giving up on yourself.
I’m completely humbled by this experience and can’t believe I’ve been selected. Thank you for allowing me to share my story, it means so much.