On January 16th, Mike and Julie noticed something was off with Olivia and took her to the doctor that morning. The doctor quickly recognized that she was having febrile seizures and ordered an ambulance to take her to the ER. An MRI revealed that three-month old Olivia had a 5cm mass in her brain. Liv was admitted to the PICU and had her first surgery that night to place to release the pressure. 3 days later, she underwent a 7+ hour surgery to remove the tumor.
Within a day, Olivia was off the vent and breathing on her own. Within 36 hours, she was eating on her own again. Olivia was moved out of the PICU a few days later, and was back at home a week after surgery. She's continuing to gain function in her right arm, leg, fingers, and toes and was back to gracing everyone with that big beautiful smile in no time (except when she's hungry).
Unfortunately, pathology results came back and revealed that Olivia has a rare and aggressive cancer. Upon receiving the news, Julie and Mike made the decision to transfer Olivia's care to a specialized Neuro-oncology unit. They began contacting hospitals around the country and were put directly in contact with both the Program Coordinator and the Medical Director of Neuro-oncology at Lurie's Children's Hospital in Chicago. Within a week’s time, the Capasso’s made the trip from Fargo to Chicago to meet with the team that would be managing Liv’s care.
Liv was admitted to Lurie on February 15th for her first round of treatment. Due to her age and complexity of her case, Liv's chemo schedule is complicated and progression through the chemo cycle is dependent on both her response to the treatments and lab results. If all goes as planned, she will be receiving treatments over the course of the next 50 weeks with the most intense phase during the initial 14 weeks.
Liv will need to be kept close to the hospital during the times she is not admitted. Because of this, Mike and Julie are currently trying to secure temporary housing in Streeterville within walking distance of Lurie.
While Mike and Julie have been, and continue to be, reluctant to take any help through all of this, the financial toll of all the additional expenses have added another level of stress to this entire situation. We have set up this GoFundMe page to help offset their extra expenses and living costs. Julie and Mike and their entire extended families maintain that the focus continue to be on receiving thoughts and prayers for little Liv.
Liv is a warrior, a fighter, and one extremely resilient little girl. Please continue to pray for her, her mom and dad, and her medical team during this time.
For updates, please visit Liv's CaringBridge site.
- MaryJo Przyborski
- Cathy Evenson
- Jayne Olson
- Maryanne Kennedy
Organizer and beneficiary
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