Grace, Grit and Gratitude
In 1975, Grace Gawler had a promising future. A brilliant young vet nurse planning to study veterinary medicine, she received a lucrative modelling offer, which would have paid her university fees. Concurrently, her boyfriend lost his leg to bone cancer. Grace was at a vital choice point - either pursue glamorous, well-paid modelling work, while studying to become a vet, or support her boyfriend through his dying months. The latter meant foregoing her personal and financial independence - and lifelong dreams of becoming a vet. Grace chose to support Ian. Believing that his cancer was curable, she directed her passion into his healing, dedicating 18-hour days - focussing on juicing, massages, and pain management, whilst researching every cure imaginable. With just a few weeks to live - Ian proposed. Grace accepted, taking him to the Philippines for a healing honeymoon, the beginning of a long road to recovery. He survived and together they established the Gawler Foundation, helping thousands of cancer patients gain hope and lead better lives. Now a mother of four and with Ian in remission, Grace developed her own methods for helping women with breast cancer and authored her first book, WOMEN OF SILENCE, in 1994. Life was good. Disaster struck in 1997; Ian left the family, then her own major health crisis began. Soon the healer of thousands was struggling for her own life. For nine years, she battled on with little support. Horrendously ill, she faced death many times. A beautiful woman, her shining light was almost extinguished. With amazing tenacity, drive, and passion, Grace survived. Near-death experiences have enhanced her passion for living, which bursts through in this book; her enthusiasm for life is contagious. Her only struggle is to contain the adjectives she uses. Now an international wellness leader, this modern day heroine inspires all with her story of GRACE, GRIT AND GRATITUDE.
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I first met Grace in 1970 when I was her PE teacher. An impressive student in her senior high school years, I sensed she was destined for great things. The years rolled by (37 in fact) and only recently have our paths crossed again. As I followed the tracks she’d laid down in the intervening decades, I realised that this was a life lived big and was worthy of my support.
I came across this review by Jeff Hutner from ‘New Paradigm Digest’ in the USA. His words spoke for me so I decided to include it instead of my own
"Grace, Grit and Gratitude is an autobiography of a remarkable woman, Grace Gawler, whose extraordinary life saved her husband from almost certain death from bone cancer after having been given two weeks to live by his doctors. She also helped save countless others from their doctor’s death sentences. After her husband’s recovery, she worked with him in Australia at the Gawler Foundation providing information that helped many cancer patients take responsibility for their healing and later wrote a book for women with breast cancer and duplicated her successes there.
The book is both inspiring and very difficult to read because of Grace’s inability to move away from an abusive and emotionally frozen husband time and time again. Most women would have left Ian early on but Grace always saw a possibility for communication and healing that never came. In the end, the icy silences and violent outbursts of physical abuse directed at Grace were the precursors to Ian’s finally walking out on Grace and their children. Ian’s departure was not the end of Grace’s challenges physically, emotionally and financially. She developed her own life threatening complication after a surgery requiring 16 more operations and miraculously lived to tell the tale becoming the first recipient in the world of a bionic implant for her condition.
Grace’s story set in the Australian countryside, Melbourne, the Philippines, London, Scotland and the Netherlands is full of epic drama and after hundreds of pages; there is finally hope and resolution beyond imagination. I do not remember a book that made me feel more overwhelmed by the enormity of life challenges faced and overcome nor more inspired by the true grit that Grace displayed from marrying a man given two weeks to live and being totally responsible for his care and recovery to raising children and taking care of the farm on which they lived. Grace, Grit and Gratitude is a magnificent story of overcoming adversity on a scale few can imagine. It puts life into context and reveals a strength and compassion beyond reason.
If you have been or are being challenged in your life, know someone going through hard times or anyone with cancer needing support, this is a must read book. For me, Grace defines a woman on a mission whose work has benefited thousands while saving the lives of men and women including her husband and her own that would have certainly died had this angel of mercy, intelligence and compassion not been there to offer her healing love and light.
Grace is quite simply an angel in human form whose life is a shining example of what we might become if we discover the amazing power of love and focus that all too often become buried by the many overwhelming challenges and distractions of life. To learn more about this remarkable woman please read her astonishing and illuminating memoir."
It’s now 2010 and the last months have seen the most complex cancer cases arrive at her office—it seems that modern living with its speed, stress and battery of new and deadly modern chemicals is manifesting in a multiplicity of cancers. This means a new chapter must be written to fill in the gaps since first publication in 2008.
Grace is the ‘real deal.’ Her book tells it truthfully. I encourage you to read it. It must become a film. This modern day heroine inspires all in Grace, Grit and Gratitude.
As a Johns Hopkins preventive medicine-trained physician, who developed the first wellness centre in the US I am very aware of the need for balance around health issues. Grace Gawler’s memoirs, Grace, Grit, and Gratitude, apart from being an inspiring and gripping story, alerts the reader to a whole host of assumptions that are prevalent regarding cancer healing. It is a vital exploration into what really heals. The book is aptly named!
Knowing Grace personally, I can say that I’ve never seen anyone with more passion for speaking her truth, looking at herself, grit, shadow, and all—sometimes even with a magnifying mirror—and able to write it all down in an easy-to-read style. She takes you along on her healing adventures like you’re sitting next to her (not that much of it was done sitting down). This incredible life story reads like an adventure tale, with villains, heroes, and all sorts of characters in between. Her gracious manner of dealing with adversity, and her expressions of gratitude, where I would be hard- pressed to feel any at all, are truly an inspiration. JohnT