It was Easter Monday in 2015 when Elise Barratt jumped into the iconic Bogey Hole for a swim.
As she waded over to the side, the primary school teacher noticed she didn’t have the coordination or strength to lift herself out.
Elise decided to float with her arms outstretched, but the last thing she remembered was being underwater unable to breathe.
After suffering a seizure, the 33-year-old was rushed to John Hunter Hospital and, numerous tests later, it was discovered she had a brain tumour.
Elise recovered well from surgery and slowly went back to life as normal.
However, two years down the track, the doctor reported it was growing back one millimetre every six months.
The Bolton Point resident’s family contacted renowned brain surgeon, Dr Charlie Teo, who gave Elise hope that he could remove the tumour, which would stop the anti-seizure medication and allow her to start a family with her partner, Ben.
In August 2017, she went in for her second brain surgery.
Since then, Elise has been taken off all medication, with zero seizure activity.
She now only needs to have MRIs every six months and – best of all – her beautiful baby boy, Henry, was born in September 2018.
Elise has teamed up with Walk 4 Brain Cancer Newcastle organiser Sarah Gallagher, who lost her husband Peter to brain cancer in 2012, just weeks after their baby’s birth.
This year’s event, which raises funds and awareness for the illness, will take place on Sunday 20 October from 9.30am at No.4 Sportsground, Newcastle.
For Elise, the walk represents a chance to give back.
“I’ve been doing it since I was diagnosed and, this year, I asked Sarah if she wanted help,” Elise says.
“We’ve moved it to No.4 Sportsground this time because we feel it will gain a bit more exposure there.”
Funds raised will go to the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, with merchandise available on the day.
About 1,700 people are diagnosed with brain cancer in Australia annually and roughly 1,200 die from the disease every year.
It kills more children across the nation than any other disease and more people under 40 than any other cancer.
The Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is dedicated to accelerating the development of new treatments to increase five-year survival from the current 20% to 50% by 2023.
Visit walk4braincancer.com.au/walks/newcastle for more information or to register.