Pippa Rea

Pippa's Journey with a Brain Tumour

What a Little Star

on November 21, 2018

Chips and Trains the greyhound named for and by Pippa yet born nearly 18 months after she passed away is proving himself to be a surprising star.  Our expectations for him were never anything more than to run in Pippa’s memory, with the racing name she had chosen, to create awareness for children’s brain cancer and hopefully raise a little money for research at the same time.

Pippa was so proud of every time she went out to the kennels to help Chris and Linda with the dogs,  especially the pups.  It was her job.  In November 2014, a week before Pippa started needing to use a wheelchair we were at the Royal Children’s Hospital.  She was getting blood tests, choosing a wheelchair (for the inevitable) which she was not happy about at all (until James and Patrick showed her all the fun that wheelchairs could provide) and getting fitted for a radiation mask at Peter Mac for the second time in her short life.

Walking through RCH we saw Ricky Ponting.  Should we go up and say hello and ask for a photo?  Why not?  We could ask him about cricket and tell him about how much Pippa’s Tony enjoyed cricket.  Pippa however had other things she wanted to talk about…  We respectfully approached him and said hello asking him if he would mind having a photo.  Before cricket was even mentioned Pippa happily told Ricky that years earlier she had patted and looked after his dog at Linda’s kennels.  Not exactly the comment he was expecting from a 10 year old girl at all!   We eventually had the mandatory chat about cricket and he also talked about the Ponting Foundation and mentioned how proud he was to support the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.  Little did I know then that I would now be so closely connected with Murdoch via Pippa’s Trust we hold at the Tumour Tissue Bank. The surprised smile on his face when Pippa told him about looking after his dog was just priceless – it will stay with me as one of our many memories of Pippa!

When Chippa started racing in May Linda sent me a photo of a beautiful drawing that Pippa had done one day to leave in her kennels.  It’s perfect.  It shows the correct layout of everything.  The kennels, the nursery were the pups are born and cared for until they’re old enough to go outside, the house, the van and even the gate that has to be kept closed!  I particularly love the detail of Pippa and Linda drawn there looking after the pups and equally the names of all the pups and their mum.  It must have been one of the first litters she wrote names for I think.

Chips and Trains is now the 2018 WA All Stars Champion and the 2018 WA Young Stars Champion.  I just love watching all his winning races, but I do especially enjoy the All Stars Final – in the Red #1.  he doesn’t give up!

Even though we did not start with any expectations at all, he is first and foremost running to raise awareness in Pippa’s memory.  Brain Cancer kills more children than any other disease.  80% of children will die within 5 years.  90% of survivors are left with lifelong physical and mental impairments.  Children with a DIPG (the type Pippa had) have an average survival of 9 months.  These statistics have not changed in 30 years meaning Pippa did not even have a chance.  The odds were not in her favour at all.   These odds need to change.

Awareness = Money = Research = Better Outcomes = One Day a Cure.

For donations made in Pippa’s memory…

RCD Foundation Brain Cancer Research

Chips and Trains is providing us with a little bit of fun and happiness – we are grateful for this and enjoying his ride!  Pippa would be thrilled that Chippa is such a lovely greyhound and that he is running around under full moons and fireworks winning races in her memory.  She didn’t want anyone to forget her; she was so scared that would happen.  She would love that people who have never met her have now come to know her through Chips and Trains.  She would love that people love him, follow him and cheer him on.  She would love that he’s putting smiles on faces.  She would especially love that Chippa seems exactly like her – a beautiful personality, affectionate and always wanting cuddles, everyone’s friend and a bit of a free spirit with a love for running!

I know that if Pippa were alive she would be ringing Chris and Linda every day making sure someone was cuddling him for her.  What a little star he is with a special pair of angel wings on his back!

Chips and Trains “Chippa”


One response to “What a Little Star

  1. Diane Mugavin says:

    Memories,thank you for sharing the story about Pippa,chips and trains.

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