Olivia was just four months old when she was hospitalised with an aggressive form of leukaemia. She was flown with her parents from the Fraser Coast to Brisbane and was in emergency for a long time, where her little body lay quite lifeless. During her treatment, Olivia’s immune system struggled and she became very ill with swine flu, influenza, croup, norovirus and rotavirus. 35 years ago, the chances of a child like Olivia surviving a diagnosis like hers were extremely slim. But today, 90 per cent of children diagnosed with leukaemia survive, thanks to vital research projects.
The parents of children like Olivia know first-hand the value of research.
Olivia endured seven months of chemotherapy, but it is research that her mum Kim credits with being able to eventually take Olivia home.
Olivia is in remission but under the cloud of a 50/50 chance that the cancer could return. She had regular checks and blood tests, with lumbar punctures as necessary for two years as part of a monitoring process. Once the crucial five year period of remission is up, if all is well and Olivia is clear, her mum and dad are planning a family holiday to Disneyland with her two adoring big brothers, Alistair and William.
Olivia owes her life to crucial research projects funded by the Children’s Hospital Foundation.