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Inspiring Kiwi: Fiona Paterson - 15 September

At just 23 years of age, New Zealand representative rower Fiona Paterson was diagnosed with clear cell cervical cancer. Intensive chemotherapy followed a radical hysterectomy, and ultimately led to early onset of menopause, for which Fiona started on hormone replacement therapy.

The reality of never having children was a difficult challenge to face, but Fiona did so with the same steely resolve and determination that had helped her succeed in her sporting pursuits. "Letting cancer beat me was never an option and letting it decrease my quality of life wasn't either. I didn't let cancer rule my mind".

Fiona's competitive spirit and drive to achieve never diminished during throughout this intense battle, and it was not long before she was back on the water training. A true inspiration to all, Fiona was recently selected for the New Zealand Women's double skull and will be heading to Karapiro next month for the World Champs.