This is Olivia, age 12 from Nictaux, Nova Scotia.
She has been diagnosed with Medulloblastoma. It's brain cancer that's located towards the back and bottom of the brain in the cerebellum. It's a fast growing aggressive cancer.
Olivia had been unwell for some time. She had been treated for ADHA, acid reflux, anxiety but nothing was working. Then she began developing weigh lose, headaches, dizziness, severe vomiting, her body would lock and seize and then her vision began to be effected. These symptoms all began showing up one by one in the space of two months.
Her mother took her to a pediatrician appointment Wednesday afternoon. The Dr sent her for a CAT scan in Kentville and some blood work. Back to the dr for the results and it was discovered that Olivia had a 4cm tumor. Laura rushed her straight to the IWK where the neurosurgeon was waiting for them. The MRI took a more detailed picture and the tumor actually happened to be 5cm x 2cm. Olivia had surgery the next day and 15+ hours later the dr had to close and leave some of the tumor behind because he couldn't get it all. The lab results came back that night and our worst fears were realized. The tumor was cancer.
Olivia will be undergoing an aggressive cancer treatment as soon as she's strong enough and the Dr's keep saying it's going to be a long hard haul.
Olivia has a wonderful mother Laura who works as a CCA at The Heart of the Valley nursing home in Middleton. Her step-father Chris was in a car accident a few years back and is now a paraplegic. Olivia's brother Owen, who is severely austicis, lives in a group home in Bridgewater and Laura visits him every week.
Olivia's mother is the only income earner in the family. While Olivia undergoes chemo Laura will not be able to work. This break from work is going to be a financial and emotional strain on the family. Laura's time will be divided with Olivia, visiting her son in Bridgewater and even though Chris is mostly self sufficient he still needs help with some things.
Laura is under an incredible amount of strain right now. It doesn't seem fair for one person to have to deal with so much at one time. She has a supportive family and friends but it will still be a financial strain for her as she helps Olivia fight this cancer.
Olivia's treatment plan will include driving to the city which is about a 2 hour drive away. There will be expenses Laura will have to face like gas, meals, special equipment, parking and medications.
Any support you can give will help ensure Laura can be with her daughter while she faces this difficult road and not have to worry about how to pay the mortgage or keep the lights turned on. A mom with a 12 year old daughter facing cancer should not have to worry about any of that. All she needs to focus on is Olivia and her treatment and getting this precious little girl better.
We will be holding a benefit for Olivia in the near future but that will take some time to organize. If in the mean time you could donate to Olivia's treatment that would be wonderful.
Donations can also be made directly to Laura at [email redacted]
And if a password is needed let’s use “Olivia “ . This will go straight to Laura.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR KIND WORDS, PRAYERS AND WELL WISHES.
Much love Tammy (Olivia's aunt)
Olivia's mom is Laura (Andrews) Whitfield and she is the daughter of Barbara Thompson-Andrews and Doug Andrews from Parker Mtn Road, Annapolis Royal. Barb used to own Barbs Fabric Corner in Annapolis Royal and Doug was a scallop fishermen for years who fished out of Digby. Our extended family for many generations have lived in the Annapolis Royal area and include Bents, Longmire’s, Goodwin’s, Oliver’s, Tooker’s, Gregory’s, Thompson’s and Halliday’s.
Laura grew up in Parker’s Cove as a child and went to school at ARRA and AWEC. She was heavily involved in cadets all throughout her school years.
She moved out west as many young people do after graduation and worked, married, more school, divorced and then moved back home.
She settled in Wilmot as there was a great program for her son Owen (now 13) who is severely autistic. Owen now lives in a group home in Bridgewater and Laura visits him regularly.
Laura remarried a southern gentlemen Chris Whitfield who is a paraplegic and in a wheelchair.
Laura graduated from NSCC - Middleton campus last spring from the CCA course and is currently working at Heart of the Valley in Middleton.
- Vaughan Occupational
- Jaime Perez
- Janet Puskarich
- Harold & Ruth Doerksen
- Kim and Shane Wright
Organizer and beneficiary
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