Meet Olivia: 2018 Family Advocacy Day Champion
Olivia is participating at 2018 Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day from June 26-27 in Washington, D.C. During the event, Olivia will share information about her health journey and the importance of children’s health care with members of Congress. Below is her story.
This vibrant 7-year-old loves to dance, sing, read and cheer for her local community center. If you see how active Olivia is in her community, you would never guess that she also has sickle cell disease (SCD) and fights through pain, fatigue and swollen limbs every day.
Olivia has been a patient at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital since she was 6 months old. To help manage her condition, she receives blood transfusions at the hospital at least once a month since. “This hospital has a warm and loving atmosphere which is helpful for Olivia’s healing process,” her mom says. Olivia wants to be doctor when she grows up. Her mom adds “I believe this is due to her experience in the hospital with Lurie’s amazing staff.”
Today, Olivia’s pain and condition are under control. Her birthday is in September, Sickle Cell Awareness Month. For her 7th birthday, instead of asking for a gift, this special little girl asked if she could give a party to all children living with SCD. And so, the Olivia’s South Suburban Sickle Cell Awareness Party & Blood Drive began in the fall of 2017.
As someone with SCD, Olivia understands how difficult the disease can be. The Sickle Cell Awareness Party was created to raise awareness for other kids like her. Olivia was the youngest to receive an American Red Cross Heroes Award for her selflessness and creativity. Way to go, Olivia!
Join us in welcoming Olivia to 2018 Family Advocacy Day!