Bec Picone: Peace of Mind Foundation: Westfield Local Heroes 2019
Family tragedy inspires brain cancer foundation
Driven. Dedicated. Unstoppable
Rebecca (Bec) Picone created the Peace of Mind Foundation to support people with brain cancer after her sister-in-law died from the disease.
The foundation runs a support group and annual retreats and provides financial and in-home support to brain tumour patients and their families.
Bec is available 24/7 to offer support and has raised more than $680,000 for the foundation.
“I founded Peace of Mind to provide much-needed and difficult-to-find support and care for patients and families fighting brain cancer,” says Bec, who is honoured to be voted a Westfield Local Hero.
“It’s lovely to see that community support behind us and recognition that more needs to be done about brain cancer, which is often a forgotten cancer.
Our clients will feel that their voices are being heard.”
However, she sees her clients as the true heroes. “They’re going through the most awful, challenging time of their life but they are still so positive and courageous.”
Brain cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in people under forty and kills more children than any other disease.
However, it receives less funding than other cancers, which is why Peace of Mind is raising awareness and much-needed funds.
Bec works full-time for the charity as its CEO and takes only a small, part-time wage, volunteering the remaining hours.
“The end goal is to run Australia’s first nationwide support service for families fighting brain cancer,” she says.
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. Peace of Mind will use its grant to fund the annual running costs of its Geelong Brain Tumour Support Group and its regional forum, which help reduce social isolation.
“Unless people go along to a support group or our forum, they may never meet anybody else who has brain cancer. It’s a great opportunity for people to connect and build support networks and friendships,” says Bec.
“We also have a lot of bereaved carers who come along. Our services don’t just stop when the person has passed away.”
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.