4 years ago on July 16, 2012 our family was shaken to its very core. Our 4 month old daughter, Olivia, was diagnosed with brain cancer. Our worst nightmare was coming true and there was nothing we could do to change it.
I will never forget that day. I woke up that morning to Olivia having more seizures. I immediately called her pediatrician, loaded my kids in the car and we started the drive to Laramie to have her checked out. Once her doctor saw one of these seizures in person she knew we needed help. She sent us to the local hospital for an EEG where seizures were confirmed. Then just a few short hours later we were on a Life Flight helicopter headed to Denver Children’s. It was that night that a CT scan showed us the first images of the mass in her brain.
That night we lay in a hospital room with our twin children sleeping and just cried. I’m not sure if either of us slept more than a few minutes at a time. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I still can’t believe this happened.
That day changed everything. The entire course of our future. It was that day that we became not only advocates for our daughter, but for all children with cancer.
Childhood cancer is something no family should ever have to go through. It is horrific. To see your baby, your pride and joy, flesh and blood, your heart… have to go through surgeries, MRI’s, chemo, hospitalizations, countless exams, is torture. You know they are in pain and helpless but you are just as helpless to make it stop. And to make it even worse, there are still some forms of pediatric brain cancer that have a 0% survival rate.
Today, 46 kids in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer. That is 46 new families who had likely never paid attention to childhood cancer before. They will be thrust into a new world that no one ever asks for. Let’s pray for these families today, wherever they might be. They will need the strength.
Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric cancer research. Since being established in November 2013, the foundation has given $115,000 to pediatric cancer research. You can learn more and donate by visiting www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.