Olivia is a very kind and creative person. She has a love for unicorns and all things glittery. She is also very competitive when it comes to sports and games; she plays a mean game of Uno! She loves to make new friends and has made lots of them through the Children’s Cancer Connection. Olivia also has a love for Jesus and believes He is with her during her cancer journey.
After complaining of joint pain and tiredness last summer, Olivia was diagnosed with very high risk acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Because of this diagnosis, she has had to receive multiple rounds of chemotherapy, both inpatient and outpatient. Over her ninth birthday last October, as well as during Thanksgiving that same year, she had to have a 24-hour high-dose chemotherapy in the hospital. With her weakened immune system, she has had influenza, which led to pneumonia, and had to be intubated so the machine could help her breathe. Olivia’s most recent stay in the hospital was for pancreatitis that was caused by a powerful chemotherapy drug. It caused her to experience excruciating pain and lose 12 pounds in a week! She has been inpatient almost 90 days during this last year of treatment. Currently, Olivia has to take steroids once a month for a week until the end of treatment in October 2019. She also takes a daily oral chemo pill, a weekly oral chemo pill, and undergoes a spinal tap once a month to check her spinal fluid for any cancer cells.
“Livy has had to overcome so many hurdles in her fight with cancer,” said Olivia’s mom Dana. “During this first year of treatment alone, she has had over 10 units each of blood and platelets. Donations of blood products have saved our daughter’s life.”
Despite the challenges, Olivia tries to be as normal as possible. After losing all her hair due to the chemotherapy, Olivia’s hair has started to grow back, and she likes to style her new short hair in multiple ways. She also likes to dress up in cute outfits, hang out with her friends, play sports like swimming and softball, and go for bike rides around their neighborhood.
“Childhood cancer has had an impact on all of us,” said Dana. “Our biggest change is our outlook on life. We live every day to the fullest. We love to have belly laughs and eat good food. We love to play board games, eat popcorn, and watch ‘The Goonies.’ We have learned not to sweat the small stuff but appreciate all the little blessings in our lives.”