CHERYL Maracic was told in 1967 she had five years to live.
But for the past 35 years she has proved doctors wrong and packed more into her life than most people would fit into several lifetimes.
Ms Maracic was 14 when she was the first child in Australia to receive a kidney transplant. But that hasn't stopped her working on prawn trawlers, driving trucks and doing the Honkytonk in Nashville since.
The Walloon resident's future wasn't looking so bright when she was a teenager though. Until age 14 Ms Maracic had spent most of her life in hospitals because of her medical condition.
"When I was 14 the doctors gave me five years to live," she says.
"That's when I was the first child to have a kidney transplant and the first to receive a kidney from a live donor, who was my father.
"I had a second transplant in November of 1995 and I am the longest surviving continually transplanted kidney patient in Australia.
"The survival rate for people with a transplanted kidney back in 1967 was five years and I do believe today it is exactly the same."
Ms Maracic has been on immunosuppressants since 1967.
"I'm rather surprised and shocked to realise that I am 60 this year. Nobody expected me to live this long," she says.
"As a consequence I tended to never want to wait for anything. I used to think that maybe I didn't have enough time.
"People say that I have a positive attitude, but because I spent most of my life in hospital the glass has always got to be half full."
Not long after her first transplant Ms Maracic took a turn for the worse and there were concerns she only had weeks to live.
"I didn't do too well after I received the kidney from my father," she says.
"The doctors decided I was fretting for home. I hadn't been home for seven months, so they decided to gamble.
"I was living south of Sydney so they sent me home. As soon as I walked out that hospital door I never looked back.
"I can drive a forklift. I can drive a truck. I've got my motorbike licence," she grins.
"My husband's uncle had a prawn trawler down at Scarborough and I became my husband's deck hand.
"My husband Larry drives a semi-trailer. We own a truck here. I've driven the Argosy and the old Fiat.
"I used to load our vans in the Rocklea markets and my husband used to say that I can load a truck as good as any forklift driver.
"I worked for Myers Taylor and made caravan hatches and bus windows.
"I even worked at the cannery and for the fire brigade in the watch room monitoring the 000."
She had "a personal drama" in 1995 and the shock from it meant she began to lose the kidney, so a second transplant was required.
But that didn't stop her. Ms Maracic's love of country songs inculcated a love of travelling to the places the artists sang about.
"I managed to get us tickets to Los Angeles for $500 and took my mother (Joy) and my husband," she says.
"We did a cruise up to Alaska and went over the Rockies.
"Then I thought, 'I've got to go to Nashville.' So that is what we did.
"We did the Honkytonk and saw things about Johnny Cash and soaked up the history.
"When I was sick as a girl, artists like Slim Dusty took me all around the world with their songs ... because I couldn't get out of bed.
"I remember when I got my first dialysis the doctors played Sonny and Cher's I Got You Babe."
Sons Jason and Gavin have brought her much joy too.
"When I had the kids in 1972 and 1973 they were miracles because there were only a handful of people who had children after a transplant," she says.