Dean McHardie

“So on the 23rd of December 2014 my life changed forever after 12 hours of surgery I was less one arm…”

Growing up on the south coast of NSW I spent a lot of my younger years at the beach with not a care in the world, surf and sun what it was all about. That all changed at 38 I was a training officer, training mine rescue teams a retained fire fighter with Fire + Rescue loving life and family. I was diagnosed with a basal cell carcinoma(BCC) on my right shoulder with only one option given to me by the surgeon which was a fore quarter amputation. Not knowing what lay in front of me or even what a fore quarter amputation was or how a BCC could be this aggressive as all the skin cancers I was told this was hardly heard of. So on the 23rd of December 2014 my life changed forever after 12 hours of surgery I was less one arm. No longer able to work in either fields that I that I had done for many years I faced a dilemma about what was next? How would I provide for my family… the adventure had only just began

How can this be, how is this possible? Why me? I’m sure I’m not the first person to ask themselves these questions and I won’t be the last.

My journey as an amputee was only just beginning dealing with depression I turned to running to deal with what had happened. Numerous ultra marathons and triathlons as well as having the privilege of wearing the green and gold for Australia at para triathlons has been a highlight. 

But learn from me let me be a lesson to everyone get a skin check because this can happen to anyone.

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