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Survivor

EXCLUSIVE: Australian Survivor’s Moana opens up about her battle with depression and baby plans

Moana Hope tells TV WEEK how the sport she loved left her broken inside.

By TV Week team
She's one of the fiercest competitors on Australian Survivor: All Stars, but while Moana Hope might be on top of her game on the Fijian island, she's no stranger to hitting rock bottom.
The AFLW star opened up about how her struggle to make ends meet as a professional sportswoman left her depressed and forced to walk away from the game.
"Once I finished Survivor, I knew I didn't want to play again this season," Moana, 32, tells TV WEEK. "I was depressed and was crying after every training session; I had anxiety issues.
"I wasn't happy playing the game. I lost the love of it. I'd work 12 hours during the day, then train for four hours after work, yet you're paid like a casual worker – it's not right."
The former Collingwood and North Melbourne forward has chosen to step away from AFLW and focus on family.
Moana Hope on Australian Survivor. (Image: Network Ten)
Moana married long-term girlfriend Isabella Carlstrom, 27, just days before flying out to film Australian Survivor.
"Got married on Saturday, flew out on Wednesday," Moana says with a laugh. "I was meant to get married in November, but then we got some bad news in that Isabella's mum was diagnosed with cancer."
The pair decided to marry as soon as possible, even if that meant squeezing it in before Survivor.
"Credit to Isabella, she was able to pull it together in six weeks," Moana says. "We got married before her mum started chemo, so that was really nice."
Moana Hope and wife Isabella Carlstrom. (Image: Instagram)
Next for the newlyweds is to have children. The pair have tried IVF once, but with no luck.
"That was really hard, mentally and emotionally," Moana says. "There were lots of tears, and it made Isabella feel bad – she took it personally."
"But that happens to women all the time. It wasn't meant to be, so we're trying again. We're in the middle of that at the moment. We've chosen a donor, and we'll do artificial insemination and hope for the best."
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