Celebrating A Life Without Cancer

In 2010, Olivia Romkes was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, commonly known as ALL. At only six years old, young Olivia asked some tough questions, “Am I going to die? Am I going to lose my hair?” Thankfully for her family, her health care team at Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre had some answers. No matter what Olivia was going through, Children’s helped her stay strong and keep smiling.

At the beginning of her long journey, 98 per cent of Olivia’s bone marrow contained cancerous cells. After the first week of chemotherapy, it had miraculously dropped to 76 per cent, and after two weeks, it dropped to zero! However, her story didn’t end there. Over the next two and a half years, Olivia received treatment to make sure she stayed cancer-free. During this time, she endured 11 admissions to Children’s Hospital, pushing the family’s ability to cope at some points along the way.

Fast forward six years, Olivia is now 12 years old and is doing awesome! She is going into grade seven and wants to be a kindergarten teacher when she grows up. Cancer has not stopped her from enjoying life. Fishing, camping and horseback riding are just a few of her favourite activities.

How has childhood cancer impacted Olivia?

"Cancer has made me realize that you need to have fun. Live your life to the fullest because you never know what's around the corner.”

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Support Children’s Health Foundation this month to help more kids like Olivia celebrate cancer-free milestones and enjoy childhood the way it was meant to be enjoyed – playing, laughing and growing.