reality tv

Alone Australia winner Gina Chick is rejecting happy endings.

At 52 years old, Gina Chick survived 67 days in the Tasmanian wilderness to become the winner of Alone Australia. 

But this wasn't the hardest thing she's had to go through in her life. 

Earlier this year, Gina shared her story with Mamamia. "Alone Australia is the second biggest thing that has ever happened to me in my life. The biggest thing was something much harder," she began. 

"I was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant, and told I had to terminate the pregnancy or I would die. I brought my daughter Blaise into the world against all odds. Then three years later, she flew away, after her own cancer diagnosis. I’ve been scaling an endless wall of grief ever since."  

Gina was informed, along with her husband Lee, while pregnant that she had breast cancer, but she choose to carry to term and give birth to her daughter, Blaise. 

Tragically, Blaise was later diagnosed with a neuroblastoma and passed away at three years old. 

Ahead of Gina being featured on Australian Story on Monday night, she penned a beautiful personal essay for the ABC to share how she's learnt to find the happiness in her life of hardships. 

Watch the teaser for Gina's episode. Post continues after video.

Video via SBS On Demand. 

"Lee and I ended up walking a path I would wish on no parent, ever... To grieve your child seems to break some law of nature, though of course that's just a story. Children die. There's no magic to say who is immune. Death rolled the dice with a skeletal hand and a rattle of bones," she wrote.

After the death of Blaise, the couple set up Rewild Your Child family camps in Budawang country on the south coast of New South Wales. "It helped in our grief. I've gone from having one child to hundreds. That village is now a thriving community, based on nature connection.

"Lee and I discovered a new shape together. Instead of parenting a child, we parented a village, planted seeds of connection, which we tended and grew into a living forest that's now so much bigger than us. And for a while, it was enough."

However, eventually Lee and Gina decided they wanted another child, but they struggled with fertility. "It was not to be. I had five miscarriages in 12 months. I learned then that my body was done and I accepted that."

The couple decided to separate so that Lee could have the opportunity to become a father. "I couldn't have any more kids. Lee and I parted ways so he could. It made sense for him to do the thing he desperately wanted to do. When we got married, our vows weren't to be together forever, 'til death do us part. Our vows were to support each other in our soul journeys, whatever and wherever that was," she said.


"When Lee and Hannah, his new partner, found each other, I celebrated... I love both their daughters and feel so honoured to be their godmother. They are Blaise's sisters."


Gina finds it odd when people are confused that she is happy for Lee starting his own family. "How can I not? Two little girls have the best dad imaginable and my best friend has found love and nourishment. How can I not celebrate that?"

"We are all changed by everyone we meet, by everyone we share our lives with. If I hadn't met Lee, if we hadn't loved and lost our daughter, I would not have been on Alone Australia, and now have a platform to initiate a conversation about nature connection with people all over the country," she said. 

Chick has spent the last decade organising wilderness retreats to encourage families and individuals to reconnect with the great outdoors. On Monday's Australian Story, Gina will connect with six women as they venture into the bush with only the bare necessities. 

"Having and losing Blaise has given me the resilience to dance with life in ways I never would have imagined. Dancing with grief over the past decade has taught me how to be with what is, rather than what I wish could be. Or should be," she said. 

"Looking at the world through the eyes of a child means I find joy in every moment, even the shitty ones. Without those tools I may never have lasted a day in lutruwita (Tasmania)," Gina continued. 

"Sometimes not ending in happily ever after is the best love story of all."

Feature image: SBS On Demand. 

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