It was over 20 years ago when Josephine Nicholls’ eldest son Nicholas, then aged six, was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Her mind was filled with never ending questions.
What does this mean? Will he survive? Why him? How could this happen to her happy, seemingly healthy little boy? Her life became consumed with doctor consultations, surgery, diagnoses, follow up appointments and an overwhelming drive to make sure Nicholas survived. Finally, after many years, he received the ‘all clear’, but that wasn’t before another tumour scare when he was nine and another round of operations, appointments, pathology, hospital stays and a high state of anxiety - not least of all for Nicholas who by this stage was very aware of what was going on around him. Being the parent of a child in hospital is a very humbling experience and Josephine became aware of the agonies families go through, not always with outcomes as positive as hers. This experience brought to life her decision to do something to help the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) and the families of these precious children. Initially, grassroots fund raising purchased a vital piece of equipment for the operating theatre. This was gratefully accepted by Nicholas' surgeon; the amazing Dr Geoffrey Klug. The more time spent in waiting rooms, the more Josephine could see how this experience impacts not only the child but their parents, siblings, grandparents – everyone. Josephine was lucky. She had resources, friends and family to support her but for many families this was not the case. With a passion to make a difference to people’s lives, Josephine made it her life’s work to support young people and their families living with a neurological condition. 2014 marked the 20th anniversary of Brainwave. That is, 20 years of providing practical support through rehabilitation and mobility equipment and ongoing therapy funding plus organising social and fun events for families to enjoy. What a ride it has been and continues to be!