18 Mar 2016
At the age of seven, Olivia was diagnosed with High-Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL), and her mum, Katarina says her brave girl has had a very rough journey since that terrible time.
Since her diagnosis, Olivia has spent very little time at home as she’s battled the disease and its complications.
After a severe reaction to the chemotherapy Olivia developed an inflammation, which resulted in her having a colostomy and spending time in hospital.
“We nearly lost her at this time.” says Katarina.
Unfortunately for the girl who loves the great outdoors there were other setbacks to follow that have meant extended stays in hospital.
“Olivia also has a heart murmur that will need to be surgically repaired once her cancer treatment is complete,” says Katarina.
Support through treatment
“She has spent a long time in both Auckland and Waikato hospitals with various fevers and H4 infections, so we have not spent longer than a few weeks at home since her diagnosis.”
Despite this Olivia’s family are pleased she has reached the maintenance stage of her cancer treatment, and they are proud of her courage throughout the rough journey.
Katarina says the family are very grateful for the practical and emotional support they’ve received from the Child Cancer Foundation throughout Olivia’s cancer battle.
“We are so grateful to Child Cancer Foundation for all its support from the time of diagnosis and throughout all the ups and downs of Olivia’s treatment,” says Katarina.
“The visits to the ward, financial help with travel and food costs and all the emotional support we’ve received has been such a big help.”
Olivia has more than 1000 Beads of Courage® that she’s received from the Foundation in recognition of the procedures and operations she’s undergone during her battle with cancer and the milestones she’s achieved, are also treasured.
“Olivia still has a long way to go in her journey, but she’s looking forward to the day she can return to school and all the things she loves doing.”
How you can help
The Child Cancer Foundation is a nationwide organisation that works hard to reduce the impact of cancer. A donation from you will help us provide the support families need from that terrible time of diagnosis, throughout treatment and beyond.