In 2010, father of two and devoted husband Terry Mitropoulos, at the young age of 36, was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Doctors gave him a slim chance at survival after a series of horrific health issues. Now he is raising money for others in an incredible trek.
We sat down with the 2016 Father of the Year recipient, Terry, in the lead up to his upcoming journey.
What are the odds for survival for your medical condition?
I had a 5% chance of survival – with all the surgeries I had very little to hold on to.
What was your battle like?
After my initial surgery of removing the brain tumour a couple of months later I then need to have a second surgery even though I hadn’t fully recovered from my first.
It then turned into surgery after surgery until all up I had 13 brain surgeries. I also had to have a spinal surgery, required a mechanical value in my brain and 2 shunts to release brain fluids.
Whilst I was in hospital I caught the Super Bug and through all the trauma I suffered a stroke.
How long was your battle?
I spent nearly four years in hospital, at one point, blind, deaf and paraplegic wheelchair bound where I was told I would never walk again.
What finally healed you?
I was lucky enough to try an antibiotic that was brought in from the UK, something that is not currently available in Australia due to its severity and cost.
What got you through this battle?
The importance, strength and support of my family.
Have you fully recovered?
No, I still have some disabilities. Although, all I want back through all of this is my independence, that is one of man’s greatest gifts.
What are you embarking on now?
I have set myself a huge challenge to walk from Adelaide on August 17th to Melbourne by the 28th September.
The walk is called “Walk and Shine” and it’s to raise awareness for mental health. The total mapped projection is 768km over 43 days.
What inspired you to take on this challenge?
I have noticed that mental health has become a high concern in our day and age. I am a prime example of someone who has been dealing with mental health issues on a day to day basis. I know and understand how dark mental health can be so I would like to shed some light and let others know there is light at the end of the tunnel by using my experience as an example that you can get through the toughest of battles.
I choose to walk from Adelaide to Melbourne because I know it’s going to be a difficult task, but others do have it harder and by all working together we can achieve any challenge that we may face.
Do you have a history of running or walking long distances?
I don’t have a history of walking or running like this, but I have now grown to love walking as I have began my training for this journey. Walking allows me to remove all my troubles, start fresh and move on. More importantly it allows me to be amerced in nature and ultimately it is a great way to clear my thoughts and enjoy life!
Terry Mitropoulos will begin his journey walking from Adelaide to Melbourne in Glycerin 17 on August 17th.
Support Terry on his journey to raise awareness for mental health and donate now at: https://www.gofundme.com/walkandshine/donate