Olivia is a happy, fun-loving normal 5-year-old little girl who was diagnosed at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) on 23rd June 2017 with an inoperable (due to it's location in her brain stem) aggressive cancerous brain tumour called a “DIPG” (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma).
DIPG has a 0% survival rate - the average survival is 9 months from diagnosis. Only 10% of children survive 2 years following their diagnosis and less than 1% survives for 5 years. This page has been set up to raise awareness of DIPG and to show support for Olivia and her family.
On admission to GOSH she underwent emergency neurosurgery to implant a ‘shunt’ in her brain to relieve the symptoms of Hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain) caused by the tumour. Olivia also underwent biopsy surgery to remove some tissue so that the type of tumour could be confirmed as DIPG and to enable her to join the BIOMEDE drug trial.
Olivia underwent 6 weeks of radiotherapy at UCLH London which finished on 24th August 2017. Doctors are hoping that this will shrink the tumour and reduce some of her symptoms but nobody knows for how long.
There is NO CURE for DIPG anywhere in the world but there are experimental treatments taking place in London and USA which may prolong her life. None of these are available on the NHS or through private medical insurance.
Currently Olivia struggles to walk unassisted so uses a wheelchair and walking frame. She has weakness down her right side and has facial palsy which affects her eyes and speech.
We are hoping that her symptoms remain stable so that she can have lots of fun with her family and return to school but we need your help !
- keeley smith
- Juliana Dahl
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