Sharon has been climbing in the Himalaya’s for over a decade, and loves nothing more than being in the mountains. Along with her husband Allan, both experienced mountaineers, they started Everest One after their long-term relationship with the Himalayas and its people.
However in 2007 their active lives were rocked by the news that Sharon had breast cancer. At the time they were preparing for a climb of Mount Aconcagua in South America, when the news came. Instantly, strength sessions and endurance training were traded for surgery and chemotherapy. Plans for a family were put on hold as their focus shifted to fighting for Sharon’s life.
With an unwavering spirit and never say die attitude, Sharon bravely accepted her path, from mastectomies, chemotherapy to rebuilding her body. With massive ambitions still on the horizon, too many people said it couldn’t be done; ‘why after everything that has happened would you put yourself at further risk.’
This was like waving a red flag to a bull, and in what became an almost defiant never say never attitude, Sharon worked even harder, determined to realise her dreams.
By her side every step of the way, Allan stood beside his incredibly tough wife on top of the world. Sharon had become the first breast cancer survivor in the world to climb to the summit of Mt Everest and together they became the 1st Australian couple.
None of this was about firsts for us though, this was about getting on with living and particularly for Sharon, proving she could take on extraordinary challenges and succeed.
Sometimes it can take an unexpected event to ignite the flame and unleash your potential. We can all be guilty of complacency and sailing through life with our blinkers on. Before you know it, time passes you by and you wonder where the years have gone.
Unfortunately, in early 2016, Sharon was again diagnosed with a rare form of facial malignancy. The cancer journey now starts again, but already Sharon is planning for the future. Although she will be grounded for extensive surgery and treatment, Sharon is already focussing on leading Kilimanjaro in 2017.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone isn’t easy, it takes guts, commitment and a thick skin. It can be frightening, confronting, challenging and frustrating. Many people tell you, ‘you can’t’ but not listening to the naysayers can sometimes be the first step to freedom.
“I achieved my Everest, but for other people, it’s about finding your own Everest, whatever that might be, having belief and going for it” Sharon Cohrs