Olivia, my hero

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There’s a beautiful saying I’ve seen many times on Facebook posted by parents whose children are battling cancer. “Some people never get to meet their hero. I gave birth to mine.” What makes this statement so unbelievably beautiful is the truth in it. These amazing kids are heroes. They have endured more in their short lives than most adults will in their entire lifetime. And they manage to do it with a strength, courage and wisdom that is far beyond their years.

Olivia’s entire life was a battle! She and her twin brother Wyatt were born prematurely at 32 weeks, which required them to stay in the NICU for a month and come home on oxygen.

Then just one week after we finally got rid of the oxygen tank, Olivia began having seizures and we rushed her to her pediatrician where we were life flighted to Denver. That night, on July 16, 2012, we found Olivia’s tumor on a CT scan. And so began her cancer journey.

1 surgical brain biopsy that landed her in the PICU.

4 surgeries on her port to place it, re-place it after it flipped, remove it after finishing up chemo, and then placing it once again when her tumor came back.

7 months of high-intensity chemo.

Numerous hospitalizations for dehydration and seizures.

More MRI’s than I can count

A brief remission where she was still plagued with health problems from her brain tumor including epilepsy, right side weakness, and developmental delays. 

1 relapse of her brain tumor after her brief remission that led to:

4 more months of weekly chemo

1 more hospitalization for seizures

more MRI’s

Then on October 17, 2013 we learned that Olivia’s tumor had grown tremendously during a shunt series MRI. She was sent home with us on hospice and passed away just 5 days later on October 22, 2013 in the arms of her dad and I.

My baby is my hero. She fought a long, courageous battle and did so with a smile on her face. The picture above was taken on October 16, 2013 just 6 days before she passed away. She was sick and miserable but she could still smile. She could still love. Olivia was the most amazing person I will ever meet in my life. She is my hero and I am more than honored that God chose me to be her mother. I wish with everything in me that it could have been me instead. I love you Olivia. Forever and Always.

The Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a pending 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric brain cancer research. To learn more or to donate please visit our website.

 

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2 thoughts on “Olivia, my hero

  1. Your daughter is dearly loved and mourned even by strangers. Those of us touched by brain cancer in our own lives are deeply grateful for your drive to honor her with this foundation along with your colleagues -many of whom i know have also lost beautiful children. My heart is with you.

  2. I started following Olivia’s journey two days before she passed. The night before her passing, I tucked both of my boys into bed and then I went to bed sharing Olivia’s journey with my significant other. He said I talked about her like I knew her. I knew of her which was enough to love her. That morning I woke up feeling off and sad before evening knowing she was taken, God as my witness. I later in the day found out that Miss Olivia had “earned her wings” as they say. I cried. A baby I have never met or heard her sweet giggle or counted her little piggies or played peek-a-boo with, I was crying for. She affected me THAT much and I can confidently say it wasn’t me alone. Nothing anyone can say can take the hurt away and I will not pretend to know what you are going through. I fully support you and this foundation. I envy just how brave you are, how brave Olivia was. Prayers and blessings to your family always…

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