Brain tumour survivor ‘gives back’ through dolls
IN 2014, Jennifer Butler almost lost her life to a brain tumour.
The large tumour measured 5cm in diameter and pressed the Bokarina mother of five’s brain to the right side of her head.
When the tumour was removed, her left frontal lobe was removed with it, leaving Jennifer with acquired brain injury.
“I had to learn how to walk, use cutlery, cook and speak properly all over again,” she said.
When Jennifer was given the all-clear, she decided to look for work.
But then she was given the devastating news the tumour had returned a day before she was to be interviewed for a retail job in Birtinya in November last year.
Not wanting to give up, she started a business, My Piccolo, after her mother-in-law said the little dolls she was making with one of her sons would be a great market stall.
Jennifer said she had made about 300 of the hand-stitched dolls since starting in July. They were designed to comfort children on hospital visits.
“Piccolo in Italian means ‘little friend’,” she said.
“I know a lot of little kids have a certain toy they like to take to hospital or their bed, so I thought ‘why not mine?’”
Each doll dons a beanie, with $2 of every sale of a My Piccolo item going towards Carrie Bickmore’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer initiative.
“It feels right to give back. I didn’t have to think twice,” she said. “Having my brain tumour, I know what people go through prior to being diagnosed and with recovery.”
By having the My Piccolo business, Jennifer feels like she is contributing to her family.
“It makes me really happy,” she said.
“It’s quite therapeutic.”
She said she couldn’t do it without the love of husband Jon and her mother-in-law Lenore. Catch Jennifer at the Sunny Coast Baby and Kids Market on December 8 at Mountain Creek State Primary School in Lady Musgrave Drive, Mountain Creek.