Pevensey woman taking part in the sea swimming challenge for brain tumor research

A BRAIN cancer patient has inspired dozens of people to swim in the ocean with her every day to raise money for charity.

Hope Louise, a former Wetherspoons manager aged 22, was diagnosed with meningioma in June 2012 after suffering from double vision, fatigue, headaches and eye pain.

A month later, she underwent a 12-hour operation to remove the tumor and has had regular check-ups ever since.

She remains stable but continues to suffer from double vision due to the nerves in her eyes being severed. She also has neuralgia as a result of a brain injury she sustained, but finds that cold water immersion helps to some extent.

The Argus: Hope Louise after surgeryHope Louise after the surgery

The mother of two co-founded The Pevensey Plungers in November last year.

The group, which brings people together each morning to experience the therapeutic benefits of cold water immersion, has built a large following, with more than 200 people taking part in their monthly full moon dives and thousands more following their activities online.

Inspired by her own experience with brain cancer, which began a decade ago, Hope accepted the Brain Tumor Research charity’s Swim Challenge in August to help find a cure for the disease.

The Argus: Hope Louise and daughter BibaHope Louise and daughter Biba

After opting to swim 10km all month, the 47-year-old decided to turn her morning dip into Pevensey Bay into a daily swim to one of the bay’s 500m marker buoys, a challenge set to Has gained popularity and is now involving others in her group.

Hope, who is now aiming to raise at least £2,740, said: “I saw the challenge and I was like ‘Right, I’m going for a swim’.

“I’d only jumped before so I figured I’d swim to the buoy every day that I could and within a month I’d hit the 10k easily enough, but I didn’t expect other people to join in, which was a lot was beautiful.

“No one goes out alone; It’s like having a completely different family.

The Argus: Hope Louise in the seaHope Louise in the sea

“I thought maybe I would raise £200 and anything more would be a bonus, but within five days I had reached £500 and now, with the help of others, I’m over £1,000.

“One lady made cakes and made £45 for me by selling them on the beach, while another created a painting entitled ‘Sea Goddess’ and auctioned it for £60.

“Everyone took part and it really blew my mind.

“I know so many people who weren’t as lucky as I was, many of them younger than me.

The Argus: Plungers and Sea Swimmers in Pevensey BayPlungers and sea swimmers at Pevensey Bay

“Brain tumors seem to be mostly forgotten, but they are so common and there are so many different types that we need to do more to understand them.

“I’m grateful to be alive and know I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the earlier research, so I want to support future research and help raise awareness.”

To support Hope’s fundraiser, visit Pevensey woman taking part in the sea swimming challenge for brain tumor research

Fry Electronics Team

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