Athlete’s success spurred by illness
Less than two years after Letty McEwan was diagnosed with a brain tumour, the Karratha athlete has overcome chronic illness to compete in the International Natural Bodybuilding Association’s Australian Championships in Canberra.
McEwan was the only WA representative to receive a podium finish on the weekend, placing fifth overall in the bikini category.
Her journey to the nationals began three months ago when McEwan was entered in the INBA North West titles by her personal trainer and placed first in two categories of the bikini competition.
She then placed third overall in the State titles in Perth.
McEwan said before February she had never been to a gym, but a flare-up of her illness prompted her to make drastic changes to her lifestyle.
“Two years ago I had a benign tumour on my pituitary gland removed in France and received the all-clear,” she said.
“But shortly after moving to Australia the doctors discovered the tumour wasn’t all gone and it began to make me sick again because my hormones were all over the place.
“As it was too dangerous to operate on, I was left with two choices: wait for it to make me really ill again or do something to help my body and fight the tumour.
“And that’s how my journey to the INBA championships began.”
McEwan said her fitness regime at Life and Soul Gym in Karratha had transformed her life.
“I am living without medication at the moment and it’s because of the gym,” she said.
“It’s been a mental thing as well — competing has brought me confidence and made me feel better within myself.
“That’s why I don’t want to stop — I love winning, of course, but I know it makes my health better.”