Olivia started getting sick at the end of October 2008 and was taken to the children’s hospital. At midnight her parents were told that she had a brain tumor, and the next day she had surgery to place a temporary shunt in her brain to relieve the pressure of the fluid that had built up. On December 1, 2008, Olivia had brain surgery to remove the tumor, and the biopsy confirmed that she had medulloblastoma, a fast growing and highly malignant brain tumor. After surgery, Olivia was mute and incapable of sitting up on her own, and she learned to walk again two weeks after surgery. Eye patching was done to rebuild strength in her damaged right eye. Olivia started her first round of chemotherapy on December 23, 2008, and has completed seven rounds of chemo with three more to go. She traveled to Boston for 30 Proton Beam Radiation treatments. She visits a child psychologist weekly for post-traumatic stress related to the hospital stays. She also has hearing loss due to the chemotherapy.
Olivia loves to dance! She has been dancing since she was 18 months old, and she had already been in two recitals when she was diagnosed at age three. She also loves arts and crafts.