2020 Team 13 - Team Ollie

 Oliver was our son. In December of 2013 he was diagnosed with Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML).

Not long before he became ill, Ollie started wearing odd socks and so we nicknamed him "Odd Sock Ollie". A lot of people wore, and continue to wear odd socks, in solidarity and remembrance.

In April of 2014 Ollie received a bone marrow transplant but by August, he had relapsed. A second transplant took place in November of 2014, which also failed.

Our doctors did not give up, giving him chemotherapy to buy time before a planned third transplant. By June 2015, however, we were told that transplant was no longer an option and that the leukemia was too aggressive and spreading quickly. There was nothing more doctors could do.

We took Ollie home and tried to have as much fun as possible. We went to Great Wolf Lodge, arcades, played on the trampoline. He rode in some fancy sports cars, and of course, played lots of video games.

On July 4, we made the decision to move to hospice. We were very fortunate to have an amazing Advanced Care team at Sick Kids, who helped us every step of the way, including while we were at Emily's House. We were cared for so that we could focus on Ollie.

Bringing Ollie to Emily’s House was one of the hardest decisions of my life. When you are in the storm that is the beginning of the end of your child’s life, every decision about their care just carries so much more weight. You want to be sure they are comfortable and able to do whatever they can that gives them even a small amount of joy.
We decided to come to Emily’s House because we realized that the best way for us to ensure that we could give Ollie that comfort and some measure of happiness, was to allow ourselves to be cared for also. Only then could we focus exclusively on being Ollie’s parents for what little time we had left with him.
The staff here gave us that care and thus the opportunity to have what we might not have had at home, or in the hospital. They supported our family during our most difficult days, in the most meaningful way. That is why Emily’s House will always occupy a special place in our hearts. Thank you …

 
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