Which Do You Want First
We all dread that question. But when it was put to Army veteran Ted Hawken in
November 2008, by his doctor Evan Ackerman, he made the choice without
He chose the good news option – which was that his was “the healthiest
prostate in captivity.” Then, when he received the bad news, his 24 years of
army training in stubbornness kicked in, and the previous 2 years he had spent
on his fitness at WIRAC took over.
Ted had bowel cancer. It was serious and it looked grim. He immediately
commenced radium and chemotherapy in preparation for the massive, 4-hour
operation which followed.
But, there was a difference in Ted’s outcomes from the very beginning, which
still has the medicos scratching their heads. Ted was to, thanks to WIRAC’s
Veterans’ Fitness Program. And during the chemo, he returned home every day
and walked, following Lance Armstrong’s cancer-treatment advice to ‘keep
going and double it every day’.
Then after his huge operation, during which he haemorrhaged and after which
he spent 14 days in intensive care fighting the pain and morphine horrors, Ted
walked daily until after only 5 weeks’ recuperating he resumed his supervised
WIRAC exercise program.
“I’m here today thanks to the wonderful care of my wife Carol, without whom I
could not have gone through all I have; the wonderful skill of all those doctors;
and the wonderful support of WIRAC, without whose Veterans’ program I would
not have been fit enough in the first place to face down the demon Big C.
“I hope my story will inspire other veterans to get down to WIRAC and get on
the treadmill,” says Ted, reinserting the earphones of his Ipod companion,
turning up the volume on Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, and recommencing his
stolid walk down the WIRAC treadmill to good health.