AN agonising bowel disease could ruin a life.
But Brittani Nicholl has not only conquered what could have been a disability, but forged ahead to carve out a successful surfing career.
"My aim is simple," the 22 year-old from Pottsville said with a smile.
"I am going to be No.1 in the surfing game."
She finished last year with a world ranking of 35th in the World Qualifying Series and is set to compete in the Burleigh Breaka Pro and the NSW State Titles at Cronulla in February.
But it wasn't always that way.
At the tender age of seven she was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease, a very painful bowel condition.
It didn't stop her from learning to surf.
By the time Brittani reached 16, she required surgery to remove part of her bowel.
Within three days of the surgery she haemorrhaged, losing 90% of her blood volume.
"I needed transfusions and thankfully survived."
"I'm 100% now," she said.
"I'm ready to take on the world."
For more on Brittani's story, see our Weekend section inside this Saturday's Daily News.