Author(s): Heather Hawkins
At 41 - with two teenagers and a contentedly unadventurous life - Heather Hawkins made a doctor's appointment. Diagnosed with stage one ovarian cancer, within nine days she had surgery to remove an 18cm tumour, and a full hysterectomy. Instead of chemotherapy, she chose a non-invasive surveillance treatment. The experience reignited Heather's adventurous and invincible spirit. At 47 she pulled on an old pair of shorts and runners and struggled to the end of a 4km mothers' day fun run with her kids. Five years later she has 17 marathons and 3 ultra marathons under her belt, including the North Pole Marathon and the extraordinary World Marathon Challenge - a gruelling seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. She topped that off by trekking 1700km in the thin air of Nepal's Great Himalaya Trail. And she's only just getting started ...'Heather's courage is immeasurable. She has unstoppable conviction and an energy that inspires and amazes me' - Robert de Castella - AO MBE, Australian Former World champion Marathon Runner
In 2007 Heather Hawkins was diagnosed with Stage One Ovarian Cancer. Surgery to remove the 20 cm tumour and perform a complete hysterectomy was performed nine days after diagnosis. Heather was spared extreme radio and chemotherapy and became the first woman in Australia to trial a new non- invasive surveillance treatment for post ovarian cancer surgery. Now, 9 years later, Heather is in remission. Heather's journey though cancer ignited her hunger for physical challenges. After successfully completing her SLS Bronze Medal two years after diagnosis, Heather competed in her first running event, The Mothers' Day Classic. She was 47 years old and it was 2012. Now, just a few short years later she has now completed 6 x half marathons, 15 x full marathons and 3 x ultra marathons. These included the 2015 North Pole Marathon in which she won the women's division and was 12th across the finish line and the incredible 2016 World Marathon Challenge, covering 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents. In February 2016 Heather commenced the world's longest trek, the Great Himalaya Trail. A 153 day journey of 1,750kms, crossing the top of Nepal from East to West. Heather will return to Nepal in October 2107 to revisit the magnificent Himalayas and raise funds for cancer research in October 2017. This will be shortly followed by the Volcano Marathon in the Atacama Desert in Chile in November 2017.