Can you imagine a world where cancer didn’t exist? Anytime I dream that’s where my mind goes to. It’s a world where children are healthy and so are their parents. It’s a world filled with sunshine, laughter and family time that isn’t interrupted by the chaos that comes with a cancer diagnosis.
I will never forget that awful day in our life when we heard the words, “your daughter has a brain tumor and it has metastasized.” It was like I had been run over by a truck. What do you mean my baby has cancer? She’s only 4 months old (the picture above was taken just weeks before her diagnosis)! What did she do to get cancer? What did I do wrong that caused this? I remember hyperventilating and falling to the floor. I remember waking up and sobbing. Feeling so numb like I was walking with my head in a fog.
What’s incredibly scary about childhood cancer is not only that it happens to children, but also that nearly all of the time there is nothing that could have been done to prevent it. I tried to do everything right. I was so careful during my pregnancy with the twins. Anything the doctors told me wasn’t safe never came anywhere near me. I was equally as careful after the babies were born. I tried to protect my little preemies to keep them clear of germs. We washed our hands. They were breastfed. I always followed the rules for safe sleep. I used safe products. How could this happen? Olivia’s oncologist assured me many times throughout her battle that there was nothing I could have done differently. It wasn’t my fault. We are all born with cancer cells inside of us and for some unknown reason, in some people those cancer cells multiply uncontrollably. That really gave me no comfort. I would have done anything to save her!
Now here I am more than two months since Olivia left this earth for Heaven and my heart still feels so heavy. For Olivia, for all of the other children and their families that have passed away from this monster we call childhood cancer. I feel so helpless at times but I know that I feel called to assist in any way I can to find a cure. I hope to make a big difference through the Olivia Caldwell Foundation in honor of my little princess. Please go gold this year. Help us in our letter writing campaign to raise awareness. Donate money to childhood cancer research. We can do this together! Our future deserves a future!
The Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a pending 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric brain cancer research. You can learn more and donate by visiting our website. www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org