Pippa Rea

Pippa's Journey with a Brain Tumour

A Christmas Carnival

I remind my children that if Pippa hadn’t developed a tumour in her brain there would be many opportunities we would have otherwise never experienced.  To take these opportunities and embed them in our family’s memory is the silver lining I compel myself to grasp onto during this time of trepidation.

One of these opportunities was our first experience in attending an organised event for families of children with cancer.  It was the Challenge Christmas Party.

In all honesty, I was nervous and hesitant.  There were times leading up to Saturday when I wished I had not committed to going or I could come up with an excuse to cancel our attendance.  I think subconsciously I was expecting to see signs up around many of the rides saying something along the lines of, “If your child has a tumour in her brain please don’t let her go on this ride……or this ride……..or that ride……….”

I think I was also expecting that I was going to be surrounded by “sick” looking children.  Pippa doesn’t look remotely sick and I was struggling thinking I would be placing us in a psychological space we don’t need to be in at the moment and potentially taking away our positive outlook.

How wrong I was!

Our expectations were indeed exceeded.  The carnival rides were numerous – as were the screams of excitement and terror!   Food, drink and ice cream were all in abundance.  Smiles were spread across the faces of children and parents everywhere and I certainly couldn’t tell which children had cancer and which ones didn’t.  Nor, I realised later, did the thought even enter my mind to look.  There were no ride police checking what “type of cancer” Pippa had before allowing her on.  Instead, there was freedom to run, laugh, eat what you like, drink what you like and be totally ordinary in an extraordinary environment that every child dreams of.

The day ended with incredibly generous Christmas presents and my children begging me to promise them we can go again next year.

Thank you Challenge for an awesome kick-off to the Christmas season and for showing me that we can participate in these type of events with ease. (And rather handy that her neurosurgeon gave her the OK to do summersaults and cartwheels again the day before!)

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