Like any business owner, Nerida Ramsay is good on her feet. Running a busy cafe with a family and all the complications of life, it keeps her on her toes.
But when she collapsed at work one day in 2016 from a seizure and then woke up in hospital, life took a different path.
Nerida was diagnosed with brain cancer.
"They gave me the MRI scans and said go and see your doctor for the result, which I did. And that's when I found out and within a couple of days I was in John Hunter Hospital having surgery and then following that I had chemo and six weeks of radiation."
Fortunately, Nerida responded well to surgery and treatment, but this is not always the case for others.
In Australia, brain cancer kills more children than any other disease, and more people under 40 than any other cancer. Eight out of 10 brain cancer patients will not survive the first five years after diagnosis, with five-year survival rates remaining relatively unchanged in 30 years.
Yet despite these alarming statistics, brain cancer receives less than five per cent of federal government cancer research funding.
One source of respite for those afflicted has been the assistance offered by the Mark Hughes Foundation (MHF).
A former professional rugby league player, Mark Hughes was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013.
Following surgery, Mark and his wife Kirralee, discovering the low level of funding for brain cancer research and treatment into support available to many in his situation, set up the non-profit foundation to help others.
"The Mark Hughes Foundation were very, very helpful with me," Nerida said. "When I woke up from my surgery, one of the brain care nurses was there and they just coordinate everything for you, basically.
"What I wanted to do was just give back to the foundation. So my husband and I decided that during beanie week (Beanies for Barin Cancer) we would donate $1 from every coffee sold to the foundation just to help."
And help they have. From her Cafe Thyme business she's managed to raise over $10,000 over the past four years. Quite a substantial amount from one small business, doing its bit for brain cancer research and treatment, one cup of coffee at a time.
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