Grace Gawler – Australian Pioneer of Supportive Cancer Healing

by Pip Cornall

During the past three years, I have been honoured to witness Grace Gawler’s deep understanding of the human body and psyche demonstrated over and over with amazing results. I feel compelled to share something about this courageous woman so that more people can be aware of her work and in the hope she will attract the support she so rightly deserves.

Some people arrive on this planet knowing their destiny. They don’t take the myriad narcissistic detours life offers— the seductive ad copy, or the latest designer drug. They’re not ego driven but rather have a compelling urge to serve humanity. In some cases miracles occur around them; they achieve great results helping others. However their path is not always easy. With so much dysfunctional behaviour manifesting in the world today—Tiger Woods being the latest in an endless string—good news stories like Grace’s deserve to be told and spread widely.

This is the story of Grace Gawler—a life of service.

Very early in her life, Grace listened to her intuition and knew without a doubt she would become a healer. As a young Australian girl with long red hair and shining blue eyes, Grace could be found healing every sick or injured animal she encountered. At fifteen, after school and on weekends, she began working at her local veterinary clinic and was soon assisting the vet at the operating table. On Sundays, Grace alone had full responsibility for the clinic, monitoring severe trauma animals on drips, changing dressings and so on. Some animals had cancer so this was her introduction into cancer treatment and surgery.

Six years later, at twenty-one, now a vet nurse and part time model, her co-worker and boyfriend lost his leg to bone cancer. Defying family, friends and medical authorities who’d given him just two weeks to live, she responded to his request for marriage and took him on a healing honeymoon to the Philippines.

At the same time, Grace had been offered a lucrative contract with Vivien’s Modelling Agency that could have paid her way to study veterinary medicine. Turning down the contract, this healing angel devoted every waking minute to helping her new husband find a cure for his cancer. They succeeded, and in 1978 his remission received massive media publicity and they opened a centre, The Gawler Foundation, in Melbourne, that ultimately assisted thousands of cancer patients around the world.

Consider for a moment, the calibre of this remarkable woman in her early twenties. What inner qualities did she draw upon to marry a one legged man with cancer and a two week prognosis? What drove her to believe they would find a cure everyone believed impossible? In this spirit, Grace continues her mission today—and has achieved success with many end-stage cancer patients. As she says to patients, “you’ll run out of steam before I run out of healing options.”

As they built their house and established the Foundation into a world recognized centre for cancer care, Grace had four children, three birthed naturally in a farm shed with no kitchen or shower. One of the children was born with special needs and still lives with Grace at age twenty-nine. Her healing story with him is nothing short of miraculous but remains private. I’m awed by the gift of love and unlimited patience she has provided him over three decades. Like the miracle healing with her husband, her son is another great example of doing very well against all odds.

Over the years Grace added formal qualifications that would help her work be more effective. These included the sciences of anatomy, physiology, chemistry, pathology as well as naturopathy, herbal medicine and the jewel in the crown—body psychotherapy. She later developed her own form of hands-on energy work which she now teaches to therapists. Combine these with the field experience from working with 13,000 cancer patients in a 35 year career and one begins to grasp the depth of her work.

For all the loving assistance she has given others, Grace has not escaped personal tragedy. In 1996, she felt compelled to leave the Foundation she co-directed, when therapist integrity issues were not resolved to her professional standards. It cost her dearly—not only her soul source of income was gone but a year later she arrived home one day to find the man she’d spent years helping to survive severe bone cancer had left.

Grace’s body reflected the emotional shock and three days later she suffered a uterine prolapse. A routine surgery went terribly wrong and that was the last time she went to the toilet. She permanently lost colon function and all feeling from her waist to her thighs—sexual function was also gone. She still had three children at home, her health was ruined and there was no money.
Thirteen years and twenty surgeries later, including colostomies, ileostomies and numerous scrapes with death, journeying to Holland, Grace became the world’s first recipient of a bionically operated colon. It was finally her turn to receive a miracle! Now she could continue her valuable cancer work again.

There is another miracle to report! I was Grace’s PE teacher in 1970. We’d had occasional talks around about health and fitness. Three years ago, in 2007, we re-connected in an astounding and synchronistic way while I was living in the U.S. The chance of this happening was one in a million and I constantly reflect on the ‘Grace’ of it but that’s another story—suffice to say, I knew right away this was an event of high significance for me.

I’ve been with Grace for three years now and I’m increasingly in awe of her work. In 2009, she survived another brush with death when her bionics stopped. After two failed operations in Australia, our financial resources depleted from past medical debt, making a trip to Holland unachievable, we were able to raise money through the internet and ultimately travelled to Singapore where we found a solution.

I feel honoured to work with an angel like Grace. Her achievements with cancer patients are legendary because few healers draw from so many disciplines, yet she remains a humble servant and discourages the ‘angel’ label I use. Patients following her guidance do very well as affirmed by author, Candace Pert, (Molecules of Emotion) who remarked on her patient survival data.
Grace also has a gift for holding audiences spellbound whether they be oncologists, doctors, naturopaths or lay people alike.
Today, Grace has been at her desk since 4 am, excitedly researching a new version of an old vaccine that might help one of her patients with a serious prognosis. She won’t get paid for this work but knows that another life saved is a priceless reward. A magazine article about her work before Xmas resulted in numerous ‘end stage patients’ locating her and receiving new healing options.

At this moment, on top of her demanding schedule, Grace is faced with a severe financial challenge—it has cost her over $1 million dollars to regain her health. Keeping up with living expenses, her son’s care, promoting her work and helping anyone who comes to see her, regardless of whether they can afford to pay, is both her gift and challenge.

Together, we are currently appealing to Australian philanthropists to help support Grace’s healing work and establish a charitable trust, so that once again, as she did when she was co-director of the Gawler Foundation, she can reach larger numbers of deserving cancer sufferers who might benefit from her guidance. In the works are a book promotion of her new memoirs and a thirty minute documentary of her extraordinary life.

Please consider supporting Grace with a one time or monthly donation ( knowing that your gift is an investment in a deeply caring practice that has served thousands and will continue to so as long as Grace is on this earth.

If just several hundred people donate $25 a month Grace will be able to expand her work without the financial stress she has been experiencing for over a decade. To kick this off Grace would donate a copy of her book Women of Silence to each contributor.

Three hundred donations at $100 each will enable the documentary on her life’s work to go into production. You can help turn these dreams into reality with your donations and in so doing support her work and the saving of many lives. And should the time come when you or a loved one are in need, you will know Grace will be there for you.