Doris Zagdanski – General Manager, Author, Cancer Survivor

Early this morning in a leafy park in Main Beach, I was introduced to a woman whose eyes looked like they could have lit up the sky. This vivacious Gold Coast grandmother has recently been through some major life changes and I was eager to see how Tye would adapt his usually highly energised boxing regime, and turn it into something to suit someone still evidently involved in a health recovery process.

With mutual respect, an obvious closeness and quiet conversation. they made their way through gentle warm-ups, walks and stretches, their occasional loud laughter bringing smiles to the turning heads of the people passing by.

They told me of their conversation on the day they met; Doris boldly declaring she would NEVER consider training, didn’t like anything to do with exercise, was certainly NOT into cycling, hated the gym, wouldn’t do sand and definitely wasn’t a swimmer, let alone have anything to do with something like boxing! Well, that statement was enough to raise Tye to a challenge.

They parted that day exchanging phone numbers, (which they both promptly misplaced) until they spontaneously ran into each other in the street some time later. Doris told her family about this boxing trainer she’d met but none of them believed she’d ever do anything to get her new white running shoes dirty, nor could they possibly imagine her ever wearing “boxing gloves”. Well! That was like a red rag to a bull … so Doris and Tye made a commitment then and there and booked a training session for the following week.

They started off slowly, with some light endurance exercises, squats, lunges, a bit of cycling and 8 punches on the pads. These days Doris manages three sets of 21 and Tye has fondly dubbed her “The Main Beach Warrior”.

“It’s much more than just a training session!” he says. And that’s obvious, when you sit and watch the ease with which they communicate, and feel the palpable bond that’s grown far stronger in 6 months, than most people could possibly fathom in a lifetime. – Elizabeth Richardson


  1. June 30, 2014    

    Fantastic story Doris and beautiful photographs!!

    • June 30, 2014    

      Thanks for dropping by Greg … and for the compliments. I’ll let her know. All the best,

  2. June 30, 2014    

    So good to see your story out there Doris. Inspiring many as usual. Congratulations to Tye also. What a great bond! Lisa Grosskopf

  3. July 1, 2014    

    Love the enthusiasm and commitment to LIFE

  4. mandy butlin mandy butlin
    July 1, 2014    

    Well written Elizabeth. What an inspiration you are Doris, you look amazing, I have never walked a day in your shoes but I am pleased that you have embraced what the universe has sent you and that would be Tye Blyth. His passion for helping others is intoxicating, breathe it in, good luck on your journey.

  5. Louise Moore Louise Moore
    July 2, 2014    

    Doris is one of my dearest girlfriends … How lucky am I!!

  6. July 3, 2014    

    I’m speechless …. Everyone in this story …all of you. Change lives. Thank you!!!

  7. Marcus Marcus
    July 8, 2014    

    Wonder woman!

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