CHARLOTTE — One year ago, nine-year-old Olivia Reardon was diagnosed with stage-4 alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer.
She is nearly halfway through he treatment as she continues to defy the odds.
“I feel like the whole thing would be about my foundation, and what I have, because my type of cancer is so, so rare,” Olivia said.
The soft-tissue cancer stemmed from a tumor near her sinuses.
She’s overcome two surgeries, 28 rounds of radiation and is nearly halfway through weeks of chemotherapy.
“I haven’t been able to do a lot of stuff that I used to do,” Olivia said. “I used to do a lot of gymnastics and stuff. And now I can barely do a cartwheel.”
Olivia and her parents, Christina Meyers and Kevin Reardon, started the Olivia Strong Foundation.
“To see them go through something that is so life-changing,” her father said. “Even if it’s just a period of their life, it’s pretty tough.”
The family wants to raise awareness and money for St. Jude’s and Novant Health.
“This is something that we couldn’t control,” Meyers said. “And we want to find a cure, so it doesn’t happen to any other child.”
They are proud of the $200,000 they say they’ve raised through fundraisers and T-shirt sales.
Olivia’s family says the girl is not out of the woods yet.
So, Olivia plans to keep a smile on her face until she gets to ring the end-of-chemo bell.
“If you don’t stay positive, you’re gonna be tired, and you’re just gonna be depressed the whole time,” the little girl said. “And that’s not where you want to do.”
Olivia said she wants to visit the beach in Alabama and have a nice breakfast after she is done with her treatment.
Click here for more information on Olivia’s foundation.
(Watch the video below: Family Focus: Group to run Thunder Road 5K blindfolded in support of rare cancer)
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