Pippa Rea

Pippa's Journey with a Brain Tumour

What a Girl

Wow! What a week for Pippa! What a happy, strong and determined girl she is. The smile is permanently planted on her face.

Pippa’s not able to have chemo so we’re waiting again to see what happens next week, but at the moment, who cares???? She’s happy, seems as fit as a fiddle, is at school and when told she had to go back to the Royal Children’s Hospital next Monday she as quick as a flash told her doctor, “Oh no, not me, I’ll be on school camp!” It’s Pippa’s first ever school camp and there is no way she is going to miss it. I already knew that if chemo clashed with it I would be packing it up and taking it along and just dealing with what would happen. I’m slightly glad I don’t have the stress of having to do that! A little bit of negotiation with her doctor and me and Pippa agreed to us driving down Wednesday morning not missing out on one minute of camp because of some silly old tumour in her brain!

Next, I had the pleasure of telling Pippa she is off to see Taylor Swift when she plays in Melbourne in December! We were in the waiting room for the eye specialist and she couldn’t contain her excitement! The smile is still on her face and she mentioned it to no one at school until she could share it at show and tell today! Big news!!!

Who's happy to be going to see Taylor Swift???

Who’s happy to be going to see Taylor Swift???

Then tonight she surpassed all my expectations yet again. Truly an incredible and inspiring little girl! James is currently studying the Great Barrier Reef and its threats. I showed him the website www.fightforthereef.org.au. I suggested to Pippa that she have a look at it as well and that there is a section on the website where she might like to share her story to save and protect the Great Barrier Reef. Pippa quietly sat on the couch and wrote this all by herself:

My Reef Story – Save the Great Barrier Reef

Dear Federal Goverment, I have been on a trip to the Great Barrier Reef recently. I would really hope that you don’t destroy it because I would really like other children to go. I hope that it doesn’t get destroy because it’s an amazing adventure and experience for everyone. I’ve got a fair few reasons and they are

1. The reef is a beautiful place
2. The GBR is very colourful and calm
3.you’ll destroy all the animals territory’s
4.you’ll defiantly destroy the hearts of people
And that’s all the reasons. So please don’t hurt and harm the fish,turtles,reef sharks. I don’t want you to particularly harm or hurt the anemones or coral. Cause I don’t know if you know but I do. Anemones and coral are never able to move ever they always stay in the same spot. I’m nine and nine months old and I know that everyone has a dream. Even all the poor people have a dream. Some of them might have a dream to see the Great Barrier Reef and by the time they’ve got enough money to go and see it you would have already destroyed it. But you’re not just hurting the animals but ruining everyone’s dreams. I hope you’re feeling great what you’re doing. I know I’m not feeling great and I defiantly think that others are horrified,disappointed,sad,destroyed, hurt and much more emotional terrible feelings. Don’t Hurt The Reef. I love the reef and you should love it as much as I do. From Pippa Rea
I’ve got a blog if you’re interested it is http://www.pipparea.wordpress.com

Pippa has again blown me away while simultaneously bringing tears to my eyes.

Sometimes I find myself thinking that if Pippa didn’t have this awful tumour in her brain there would be so much I wouldn’t know about my little family.



Not only did our Make A Wish Trip allow Pippa to snorkel with the fish on the Great Barrier Reef, we were also able to visit the Cairns Zoo, ride the train and Sky Rail to Karrunda to visit the butterflies, do more snorkelling on Green Island and catch up with some old friends and make some new ones.  In addition, the trip  also highlighted to us our fears………..

Patrick, for example, is incredibly fearful of butterflies landing on him;  James, is not that great with riding above the tree tops in a sky rail capsule; and my fear of snakes came as no surprise at all!  (I’m sure all three of us are not alone in our fears either!!)

Pippa on the other hand, fears nothing.  We tried our hardest, but could not come up with anything she is scared of!

A week in Palm Cove, a few days in Melbourne and some time at home.  We have spent the past two weeks with no hospital appointments, doctors or drugs.  Now we start on the next 12 months.   Needless to say Pippa is not fearful of anything ahead of her (except perhaps of no longer having Jessie from Peter Mac doing her blood tests).  Our trip to Melbourne this afternoon was spent singing Taylor Swift songs at the top of our voices, a bit of Taylor Swift education for me in case I didn’t know a few facts, and a brief discussion about killing tumours with chemotherapy drugs that may or may not be pleasant to take.  All in her stride!


A Magical Reef Wish

The anticipation leading up to today was indeed high.  Even though Pippa has had a wonderful time over the past 3 days on our Palm Cove holiday, she was terribly excited about today, “Her Wish Day”.  And she was not in the least bit disappointed.  The weather was absolutely perfect –  30 degrees and crystal clear turquoise water of glass.

The Quicksilver Outer Reef staff were expecting her and they treated her as the VIP she deserved to be.  The underwater observatory and a ride on the semi submersible where we saw turtles and a reef shark prepared her well for her snorkeling experience.

At first it was difficult.  Combining the breathing with the deep water and the vast ocean to eventually overcome natural trepidation took a little perseverance but Pippa was determined.  Quicksilver and Make-A-Wish had organised a marine biology snorkeling tour which was amazing.  In my previous life I have been to the reef many times but to snorkel alongside my children with a marine biologist explaining the different corals and fish was truly special.  Our guide would dive down and point out special fish and corals to look at and do it all whilst wearing a Go Pro for us so we could bring home our own memories.

Pippa swam and swam.  She saw everything and did not miss one piece of coral she snorkelled above or pretty fish that swam past her.  As the horn sounded to come aboard she was still swimming.  As everyone else was climbing our of the water Pippa was darting in, around and under the platform.  Eventually, the last person in the ocean the Quicksilver staff member who was getting great enjoyment watching her bob around tapped her and said, “Pippa, you’ve got to come aboard now or you’ll be left behind.”  To which she replied, “That’s OK, I’m busy following a fish anyway!”

Thank You Make A Wish and Quicksilver.

In the semi-submersible


Suited up – sun protection, stinger protection, sea lice protection and looking oh-so-fine!


Pippa snorkelling


What do 3 children do after a long and tiring day snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef?…………..

Pippa; have a shower, write some postcards and fall fast asleep


James & Patrick; fold each other up in the rollaway bed!  And yes, it did close all the way!



Three Wishes

On Tuesday Pippa was granted a wish from Make-A Wish Australia.  The local branch delivered the wish to her and although she didn’t have a lot to say at the time, she woke up Wednesday morning and hasn’t stopped talking about it since.


Tomorrow morning we fly to Cairns for a week staying in Palm Cove so Pippa can live her wish and snorkel with the fish on the Great Barrier Reef.

Our whirlwind life continues.  A crazy mix of highs, lows and lots of in betweens.  It will be wonderful to be in some hot weather, enjoying the beach and some amazing adventures.  We will create some more wonderful memories and I’m sure that snorkelling on the reef will be an experience Pippa will always remember.

I am currently the laughing stock of my family as my wish is to just lie on the beach for the entire week and be rotated every now and then;  my children’s wish for me is that my memory returns!

Thank You Make-A-Wish.  Pippa’s smile will be permanently on her face for the next 7 days.  Whether or not the other two wishes come true remains to be seen………


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