“My new mantra is that this is temporary, I’m one of the lucky ones” says Rebecca Okunzuwa.
The single mother of two (pictured above with Acting Superintendent Tim Partrige, Senior Sargent Andrew Dupere and Sargent Happy Pattinasarany) serves the community through her work with the Mount Gravatt Police Citizens & Youth Club and was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.
The diagnosis hit her sons Isaiah (19) and Noah (18) hard, with Noah really struggling to come to terms with the diagnosis. “He removed himself from the situation and I had to be patient and wait for him to understand that I wasn’t going anywhere, which was his biggest fear.” Rebecca also has her Mum for support – “she’s always been there for me.”
Rebecca has worked for the Mount Gravatt PCYC for nine years, and says that her time there has been a great journey, working alongside some great people.
“PCYC do fantastic programs for young people, and it’s great to see them improve themselves and acknowledge that they’re worth something.”
She says that the staff of the PCYC and wider police community have offered so much support through her cancer journey. Reflecting on juggling work, treatment and family life Rebecca said “there’s just been 110% support from everyone, I’m so lucky to work here.”
Small Club, Big Heart
Acting Sargent Happy Pattinasarany is the branch manager of the Mount Gravatt PCYC, and nominated Rebecca for a 96five SOS.
The Mount Gravatt PCYC is the smallest branch in Queensland, but despite their small size the club is active in community life. They run programs for disengaged youth, as well as yoga and martial arts classes.
Another area of community service is the Braking the Cycle driver mentor program. This assists learner drivers without access to a supervisor or registered vehicle to complete their logbook hours. It also opens up increased employment opportunities and community connection.
Happy can’t speak highly enough of Rebecca and says that she is the epitome of hard work.
“What inspires me is that she just doesn’t give up.”
He also said that Rebecca has been a real inspiration to the community, by showing that you can keep going, despite what life has thrown at you.
Thanks to some generous sponsors including Roses Only, Rebecca received a Roses Only box of premium long stemmed roses, and an overnight city escape for her and her Mum.
PCYC Queensland is a fantastic not-for-profit charity that does a great job supporting our communities. There’s a number of ways to get involved with your local club, check out all the opportunities on the PCYC website.
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