Gudrun Pflueger grew up in the small Austrian town of Radstadt. Her competitive spirit and determination propelled her through a life that, thus far, has been defined by record accomplishments. By the age of 18 she was a professional athlete, racing in international cross-country skiing and mountain running competitions. She earned the Mountain Running World Trophy in 1993, 1995, 1996 and 1997. The Austrian Alps were her competitive playground, but they also served as her schooling ground. During her athletic career she found time to pursue a career as a field biologist, a job tailored to her skills and passions. The protected parks of Canada where Gudrun tracked elusive coastal wolves are some of the last places where wolves roam free. She studied wolf packs there in an effort to learn how they survive in a difficult environment and to better understand their critical role in maintaining healthy wildlife populations. It's a job she's well equipped for and an environment in which she thrives. As Gudrun puts it, "in places where wolves are still roaming, my soul feels free." But in 2005, after an inspiring and rare face-to-face encounter with wild wolves, Gudrun encountered the challenge of a lifetime when doctors discovered a cancerous brain tumor. Her desire to play a critical role in keeping wild wolf populations healthy helped propel her through three years of aggressive cancer treatment. Gudrun says she dreamed of returning to the Canadian wilderness to once again see wild wolves. Her focus worked. Today, Gudrun can add cancer survivor to her list of accomplishments. But that's not all. In yet another surprising turn of events, the summer of 2009 earned Gudren another title, mother. Surprising doctors and defying all the odds, Gudrun gave birth to a healthy young boy.