Johnathan Marsden was in Year 11, training state level for the AFL, and about to head off to compete in the national cricket championships when his life changed forever.
Stuart Marsden, Johnathan's dad, said he had a seizure on the night of his sister's 18th birthday.
Mr Marsden said it was a fight to get answers, with Johnathan being told it was probably a one-off event after being discharged from hospital. They later found out he actually had a brain tumor.
"As shocking as it was hearing this, we were told that it was a slow growing tumour and with the right dose of medication his seizures would be controlled and he would possibly be able to live his life with no need of surgery," Mr Marsden said.
In July, things got worse. After playing a game of football - which specialists had cleared him for - Johnathan's seizures increased, and he had about 10 within 24 hours.
"After visiting hospitals and specialists in Tasmania and Victoria looking for clear information and convincing options, I eventually took Johnathan to Sydney to see world-renowned Dr Charlie Teo for his expert opinion," Mr Marsden said.
He said the operation and care plan through Dr Teo would be incredibly expensive, but they were desperate for help and answers.
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Upon examining Johnathan, Dr Teo said the tumor had grown two millimetres in three weeks. The tumor should have only been growing two millimetres per year.
"This makes the operation far more urgent," Mr Marsden said. "I am still in shock with the news of the unexpected growth - 30 per cent increase since January to July and a further 20 per cent increase from July to September - of which no doctors had found or informed us of."
"I now understand the total urgency that Johnathan needs immediate surgery to remove this brain tumour."
The upfront cost for the surgery was $100,000 without the inclusion of travel and accommodation.
The family launched a Go Fund Me page aiming to raise some of the funds needed. Mr Marsden said they were seeking donations not for a nicer car or a holiday, but to ensure Johnathan could get the best help available.
"I am obviously going to come up with as much money as I can, but this will still be way short of the [more than] $100,000 required," he said. "I believe that this is Jono's only option to have a fighting chance of leading a normal life. If surgery is successful Jono should be able to continue on with his studies and playing the sports that he loves next year."
Donations can be made online on the Johnathan Marden's Battle with Brain Tumor Go Fund Me page.
As of Saturday afternoon, more than $40,500 had been raised by more than 450 donors in the community.