Six years ago, across the world in Australia, Shontelle Hiron was given just 6 weeks to live. Her parents were told she had a brain tumor and that nothing could be done. But that immense distance did not stop Shontelle's parents. As a result, today Shontelle is the picture of health as she runs the 50-meter Olympic torch relay from Mandurah to Perth, Australia. Eighteen-year-old Shontelle shared the run with Dr. Burzynski, who successfully treated Shontelle's tumor.
In July 2000, Shontelle, with Dr. Burzynski beside her, carried the Olympic torch through the streets of her hometown, Mandurah, Australia. The entire town rallied behind Shontelle when she was ill, and on this day, the townspeople came out to cheer her on and to honor Dr. Burzynski. Also in the crowd was Health Minister Graham Kierath, who came to congratulate Shontelle and honor Dr. Burzynski. Mayor Keith Holmes told Dr. Burzynski that his work had directly affected not only Shontelle and her family but the entire community of Mandurah. Mayor Holmes said, "Our community is very appreciative and we want to recognize your contribution to medical science."
Shontelle said that running with the torch is her way of acknowledging the community that helped her with emotional support and fundraising during her treatment. Shontelle believes that "You have to have faith, power, and the hope to keep on pushing on."
Shontelle is studying public relations and was named vocational student of the year at the South Metropolitan college of TAFE. She is campaigning for Dr. Burzynski's discoveries, antineoplastons to be registered in Western Australia and offered as an alternative to chemotherapy. Shontelle said, "Thank you from the bottom of my heart," to Dr. Burzynski. "You have set a path for my life. Now your struggles are our struggles."
Shontelle is writing a book about her life experiences entitled The Power of Hope, which is due to be released this year.
At the age of 12 years, Shontelle Hiron was diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of a tennis ball. Doctors gave her only weeks to live.
The community of Queensland, Australia, where Shontelle and her family live, rallied behind the Hirons. They were helped by (current) Labor Relations Minister Graham Kierath. Their efforts were successful in obtaining clinical trials with antineoplastons at Princess Margaret Hospital.
It has been 6 years since Shontelle's diagnosis. She is 18 years old and no longer has cancer. She is now one of the top students in the Peel TAFE tourism course. This week, she was one of the students responsible for hosting a number of government ministers, professionals, and community members for the release of the official plans for the new Halls Head Middle School and Peel Regional Campus.
Today, Mr. Kierath cannot believe how much Shontelle has changed and said he would not have recognized her. The last time he saw her, Shontelle was locked in a life and death struggle. Today, Shontelle is full of life. She remains grateful to Dr. Burzynski and everyone at the Clinic in Houston, Texas, who saved her life. In fact, Shontelle wants to return to the United States to work at the Clinic. She and her family still communicate with Dr. Burzynski.