Zack Hankin (2012) is an Old Boy with a tremendous outlook on life. By the end of school, he had his heart set on becoming an Army helicopter pilot serving and defending Australia. The end goal was flying Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters for CHC Helicopter or a similar multinational company. He was accepted into the army as a pilot and attended UNSW Canberra at ADFA (Australian Defence Force Academy) to study for a Bachelor of Technology (Aeronautical Engineering).

It was soon after graduation however that he was pulled off course. Just as he was about to start Basic Flight Training School, Zack noticed that he began struggling with depression and anxiety. The base psychologist referred him to a civilian psychologist who in turn referred him to a psychiatrist. An MRI scan revealed a grade 2 Astrocytoma brain tumour and a further referral to a neurosurgeon.

In August 2016, Zack underwent a craniotomy to remove the tumour, which was as successful as possible as the tumour is diffused into the brain. Whilst he waits to be accepted for a transfer to the Chaplaincy Corps, he is currently working as a Student Minister at St Luke’s Anglican Church Miranda and is also studying at Moore Theological College in Newtown.

That is Zack’s story so far and he wouldn’t change anything. He truly wouldn’t. Zack says that everything that has happened has taught him a lesson and he wants to use those lessons to help other people by raising awareness of mental illness, conversing with others about their struggles with mental health and most importantly pointing people to Jesus, the only true hope.

Please click here to view Zack’s website where he blogs about his experiences with cancer and how it has strengthened his faith. In doing so he shares what he has learnt through the good times and especially the hard times to help others.