At five years old, Oliver was a typical boy who loved NASCAR and hanging out with his dad. However, life suddenly changed for Oliver in the fall of 2014. He woke up one morning with yellow skin. Doctors quickly diagnosed him with an autoimmune form of Hepatitis but knew there was more to it.
After months of testing, surgeries and many medicines, Ollie was officially diagnosed with Stage 2 Aplastic Anemia. Treating his disease would require leaving their hometown of Toronto, Canada for a bone marrow transplant at Cincinnati Children’s. Ollie and his family arrived in Cincinnati in the summer of 2016 for Ollie’s transplant. At just three years old, his younger sister, Scarlett, was his donor.
Scarlett and Ollie were both very brave during the transplant process but recovery for Ollie was difficult. Parents Rob and Mel were grateful for the room at our House where they were just steps from the hospital and had many families offering support when they were so far from home. Scarlett quickly made friends with other children in the House and because he was so close, Ollie could leave the hospital for a couple of hours to come visit his family.
Ollie continued to grow stronger and was eventually able to move to our House for his remaining recovery time. Over the next few weeks, Ollie celebrated many big occasions at our House: his 100th day post-transplant, his 7th birthday and Christmas. Each time, he was surrounded by his family as well as all the new friends he made during his long journey.
In early January, Ollie’s doctors told him that he was strong enough to go home. He and his family returned to Canada, where he is looking forward to going back to school this fall.
From Rob, Ollie’s dad:
Huge thanks to the Ronald McDonald House of Cincinnati. What an enormous help everyone was there. Chef Greg and his awesome menu, always smiling…the staff and the volunteers with their help and kind words are indispensable. We can’t imagine trying to get through this without the House.
Thank you for helping us keep families like Ollie’s close together when they need it most!