Turia Pitt had beauty and brains. Then her life was turned upside down after she was trapped in a grassfire during the 100km ultramarathon Racing The Planet in Western Australia's Kimberly in September 2011.
Suffering life-threatening burns on 65 per cent of her body, a horribly-disfigured Pitt lost four fingers and a thumb. She had to spend A$3 million (S$3.5 million) on medical treatment, and recently received a welcome reprieve when she settled an out-of-court claim for A$10 million with the race organisers.
And to think the future had looked so bright for the 26-year-old former model. Armed with a double degree with honours in mining engineering and science, Pitt had landed a job based in Kununurra with mega mining corporation Rio Tinto.
But with the support of her teenage sweetheart Michael Hoskins, Pitt has fought her way back from the depths of despair, publishing her memoir, Everything To Live For, late last year.
Pitt, who resides in her hometown of Ulladulla, is currently pursuing an MBA and a master's in mining engineering, while her plight has served to fire her passion for championing organ and tissue donation. The motivational speaker is also an ambassador for charity Interplast, which provides free reconstructive surgery to people in developing countries.
Now back to full fitness and her love for the great outdoors undiminished, Pitt is in the midst of training for three events - the Variety cycle from Sydney to Uluru, a 20km Lake Argyle Swim and an upcoming fund-raising walk along a section of the Great Wall of China for Interplast.