Something strange happens when you become a momma. Your life as you knew it melts away. It is no longer about you. Your needs, wants, dreams, everything slips into the background. Suddenly your life is 100% about this beautiful little person.
That is only magnified when you have a sick child.
I became a first time mom to twins, Wyatt & Olivia, at just 24 years old. I had read every parenting book and it still didn’t prepare me for any of it. And mothering them only became more challenging when my sweet Olivia was diagnosed with brain cancer at 4 months old in July 2012.
That diagnosis came and my entire world was turned upside down. I no longer had time to be a scared new mom. I had to become an advocate for my girl. And so I did.
I learned everything I could about Olivia’s diagnosis. I learned how to give her all of her meds, the precautions we had to take to protect her immuno-compromised body, worked with her on PT, OT and Speech Therapy to help her catch up developmentally, and so, so much more.
I spent every waking moment with Olivia. I held her for hours on those uncomfortable hospital beds as chemo was pumped through her tiny body. We passed the time with books, toys and tons of hugs, cuddles and kisses.
That little girl was my everything.
When Olivia passed away I had no idea what to do with myself. I had been her advocate and caregiver for 20 months and 3 days. Then just like that she was gone.
I have been so fortunate in my life to be able to keep being Olivia’s caregiver and advocate through the foundation bearing her name. Without this work I know without a doubt I couldn’t have survived her loss.
So thank you to all of you who support the Olivia Caldwell Foundation! Thank you for remembering my baby girl and helping her memory to live on! She might have only lived for 20 months on this earth but thanks to you she is alive and well and changing the lives of countless other children through the research funded in her name.
The Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric cancer research in memory of Olivia Caldwell, who passed away at 20 months old in October 2013. To date we have given $225,000 to pediatric cancer research. To learn more or to donate please visit www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.