8 years and 15 applications later, Gillian was finally accepted as a contestant on Gabon, Season 17 of Survivor. The only South African to be accepted, Gillian was 61 years young at the time. Not only did she get to play, but she got to play at home – in Africa!
Growing up just outside of Johannesburg, South Africa, Gillian grew up playing sports and learning about the African bush and wildlife. She had a wonderful nanny who taught her a deep love of country and she learned about the philosophy of “Ubuntu”, which is “To treat all around you with value and always know that I am what I am because of who we all are. With out one another we would be nothing.” We are all inter connected.
Gillian was able to use her experience on “Survivor Gabon” as a springboard to create “Reality Rally”, a “Fun for Funds” 3 day charity event in Southern California, which gives one hundred percent of net proceeds to benefit Temecula-based Michelle’s Place Breast Cancer Resource Center. Gillian read Michelle’s Story a long time ago and was struck by the tragedy Michelle and her family faced because of a misdiagnosis. She vowed that if she ever had the opportunity to raise funds and awareness of what the Center provides, she would to help prevent another family facing that same tragedy. She continues to fulfill that vow.
Listen to this episode as Gillian talks about growing up during the oppression of Apartheid, her absolute determination to become a contestant on Survivor, and how all of her experiences have culminated in the creation of Reality Rally as well as becoming a highly sought-after inspirational speaker, her “bucket list” and Maccu Piccu.
1 – National Wine Day; Mark Burnett’s Timing Was Right; Drop And Give Me Ten2 – Your Gifts Are Healing; Survivor South Africa Needed Old People; Cheating & Conniving3 – Tried For 8 Years, Played For 6 Days; The Birth Of Reality Rally4 – Reality Rally Raises For Michelle’s Place; Reality Peeps On Facebook