Pippa Rea

Pippa's Journey with a Brain Tumour

Artistic Inspiration

Recently  I met Pippa’s class at the art gallery.  Pippa’s portrait is on display in a local competition.  It has been entered by her Teacher Aide who spent a lot of time with Pippa both in the classroom this year and at our home.  They would laugh, play games, find cool music apps, draw, paint, do assignments and of course her favourite school work – maths.  Pippa was very chuffed that she was capable of doing maths equations far beyond her years and Jeff always left our home with sheets full of math problems and numbers depicting the latest numeric patterns they were working on.  She even did this on her very last day.

Needless to say, Jeff, like everyone has been deeply affected by the loss of Pippa.  Jeff stays in touch which is lovely and along with registering her star on our behalf, he has put his feelings into two magnificent pieces of artwork.

We went along to admire his talent and the class of E1 then had some quiet time drawing or writing what they felt on paper. There were some attempts at replicating Jeff’s portrait, but there were also a lot of beautiful frangipanis drawn – art again inspired by Pippa!

Both of Jeff’s pieces are done with fine pencil and the detail is incredible.  This portrait is currently hanging in the Warrnambool Art Gallery until 16 August

Pippa Rea, Legs Eleven


I’m almost certain Jeff’s portrait received quite a few “people’s choice” votes that day!

Jeff is still entering the following drawing in art competitions around the country.  Every time I see it it takes my breath away – as someone said to me, they have never seen someone so recognisable from behind!  Good luck to Jeff on getting this piece of art displayed somewhere as well.


Jeff has written very moving and just as touching words that accompany these pieces:

Pippa Rea (Legs Eleven)

I’ve always thought that people come into your life for a reason. They come into your life and make an impact either large or small. You may notice, you may not. I am a teacher aide at a primary school, and this picture is about a special little girl who I supported at that school. She was a very active, friendly, intelligent and an inspiring girl who liked to dream big.

When I first met her I knew she was special. I knew she was in my life for a reason. This special little girl was fighting a big battle with terminal cancer. Everybody thought that she didn’t have long to live, but I was determined and motivated to help her fight it and become better again. As the weeks went by her illness expanded, leaving her unable to walk, talk and hear very clearly. This didn’t stop her though, she was still eager to go to school and hang out with her friends and do school work. On her days when she was unable to make it to school, I was assigned to teach her at her home. It was a very challenging and different experience for me, however, I enjoyed every moment of it. This experience helped me grow as a person by giving me courage and inspiration to live life to the fullest.

Away from school, she liked to play music, especially drums. Unfortunately, with her illness and lack of movement, she wasn’t able to play anymore. However, she could still use her right hand, so I downloaded some drum apps on her iPad so she could still play. She also liked to paint and draw, which was great because it was something I liked to do and that we could do together.

Early this year, she passed away peacefully in her sleep. I was beyond devastated. When I received the msg on my phone, I was right in the middle of the city (Melbourne Central). Surrounded by busy city life, the whole world seemed like it had stopped.

This picture is explaining about this special little girl and her next journey. The ripples in the water are representing multi-universes and different dimensions. She is walking through these dimensions trying to find her own special place. The picture fades out into the distance and is representing the unknown, and that is where her next journey begins.

This special little girl has put a mark on my life forever, and has inspired me to do bigger and greater things. I will always remember her courage and strength, wherever I go and whatever I do. Every time I do a drawing, go for a surf, play music and even going on adventures. She will always be there in my mind and I know she is out there watching over me and everyone else.

Jeff is also the owner of the grey haired, blue eyed husky – precisely what Pippa has always wanted for her 16th birthday!  Exactly the gift I as mother of a long legged, beautiful individual was going to be very happy to give her!!


I am proud to be Pippa’s mum and proud of the inspiration she has unknowingly bestowed upon others.


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