Yesterday marked 5 years since the day I learned my baby girl was going to die from brain cancer. Normally I spend that day holed up in my house, but this year I spent my day roaming the very halls where I received that news on October 17, 2013.
Ever since we started the Olivia Caldwell Foundation we have re-visited Children’s Hospital Colorado each October to get an update from the research team and present our annual donation check. This year, our check presentation is going to happen a bit later in November, but my heart ached to visit anyways.
With my dear husband tenderly holding my hand we made our way through one of the places I both love and hate the most in this world.
Olivia’s former doctor led us around on the tour since Wayne had never been there before. He took us past the reception area, the treatment rooms, the oncology work rooms, and then carefully detoured us around the room I sat in on that fateful day. Her doctor didn’t want to go back in there any more than I did.
With each step my heart grew heavier.
I could see Olivia everywhere.
I remembered holding her for hours on end while she was pumped with poison.
I remembered the anxiety I felt as I sat in the exam rooms waiting on results.
But most of all I remembered sitting in that family conference room alone and hearing those words, “We are so sorry, but there’s nothing more we can do. Your daughter is going to die.”
After the tour of the oncology floor we walked across the medical campus to our team’s research lab. It was there that we got a brief update on the progress that’s been made over the past year using our funding.
The biggest news is that they were able to find the treatment that would have saved Olivia’s life had she been diagnosed today. I don’t know what could possibly be more bittersweet. They found the cure because of their quest to find answers for us and the funding we’ve provided through Olivia’s Foundation. But the cure still came too late to save my baby.
Today my heart hurts. I miss my daughter with every ounce of my being and I wish the cure had come quickly enough, but I am also humbled to know that my daughter is saving the lives of so many more.
You have quite the legacy sweet baby girl.
The Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric cancer research in memory of Olivia Caldwell, who passed away from brain cancer at 20 months old in October 2013. To date we have given $225,000 to childhood cancer research, and will be giving another large check in November 2013. To learn more or to donate please visit www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org.