This is the summarized story of Ollie’s “bump in the road”.
The rollercoaster ride of it all is overwhelming and this short version will help you see why the fundraising we do is so important.
One average summer day early in August, Ollie’s sister Abby pointed out what appeared to be a round sunburn where his shoulder met his neck.
By November Ollie was diagnosed with Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma.
Chemo began two days after diagnosis.
First two rounds went well and quickly shrunk his bump, although Ollie was hospitalized in between for infections due to low neutrophils. A PET scan after round 2 showed that there was no evidence of disease, but we’d have to continue with the other four rounds to be sure.
A week later he was admitted with fever and they thought it was another infection. After seven days of antibiotics and his symptoms getting worse to include debilitating headaches, neck and back pain, they suspected meningitis. A lumbar puncture revealed that he had 900 lymphoma cells in his cerebrospinal fluid and his vision was changing. After his first intrathecal chemo (in his spine), he went blind and was transferred to the ICU to better manage his pain and identify why he could not see.
While there he appeared to be having seizures, which is how they discovered he had dangerously low sodium called SIADH (which can cause seizures). After eight days, multiple intrathecal chemo treatments, countless tests to look at his brain and optic nerves and many drugs, he was stable enough to transfer back to the oncology ward.
He started a new more intense chemo regime in addition to twice weekly intrathecal chemo treatments.
After 63 days admitted he went home for 24 hours, then we left for Sick Kids Hospital for stem cell transplant. Ollie’s sister Abby donated her cells on March 31st. He relapsed again on April 8. Tried a new drug that didn’t work.
He went back to CHEO for radiation and a new drug during May and June.
The cancer was in remission and then back to Sick Kids in July for a stem cell transplant.
The transplant took place on July 30th and the whole family stayed in Toronto until mid-September.
Back to Ottawa, to CHEO for post transplant outpatient care since then and doing awesome!
They are very grateful to the team in 4 North and MDU as well as all departments who helped them (Lab, Genetics, Opthamalogy, ENT clinic, Dental, Endocrinology, Respiratory services, Cardio, Imaging, etc.
Ollie in the NEWS
Here are more links about Ollie and his family’s journey.
CTVNews – Searching for a Llama
CHEO – Llama Llama Blue Pajamas
Canadian Blood Services – The need goes on #14: One girl’s mission to save her brother
CBC Radio – A 7-year old facing the consequences of COVID-19