Olivia was diagnosed at 16 with a stage 4 Wilms’ tumor, a type of kidney cancer typically found in young children. Olivia, now 18, has always focused on translating her experiences into learning opportunities for others.
With a goal to educate, inspire, and raise awareness, Olivia started a YouTube channel. Her message spread to many and continues to every day. Her efforts didn’t stop here. Through her school and community, Olivia saw an opportunity to do some fundraising. With the guidance of Cal’s Angels, Olivia orchestrated a “Go Gold Game” and was able to raise over $7,000.
Cal’s Angels has had a significant impact on the Sergot family since the day of Olivia’s diagnosis. Immediately, Olivia was given a comfort kit and the smile that was already on her face shone even brighter. Cal’s gave Olivia the chance to see one of her favorite artists, Billie Ellish, for a night with friends to escape the rigor of her treatment. She was able to be a “normal” teenager this day and forget that she still had a long road ahead of her to get healthy. These moments are crucial when a child is fighting cancer. The ability to lift the weight off of their shoulders is priceless and that is what Cal’s Angels works so hard to do every day.
In January of 2020, Olivia was finally able to announce that she was cancer free. Ecstatic, she rang the coveted end of therapy bell and is now looking forward to a long life of health and happiness. She will be attending college in the Fall of 2020 with the plans to become a Pediatric Oncology nurse!
“Being a senior in high school during the Covid-19 pandemic is heartbreaking. We may not have our last day of school, our prom, or our graduation, but we have our health. Video chats and e-learning are our new normal. But even though it’s weird and unfortunate, we are all in this together.
However, imagine missing out on most of your junior year and first semester of senior year. Imagine this last semester being your chance to have a normal high school experience. Then, all of a sudden, it’s gone. You’re finally healthy and feeling good and you have to sit in your house all day long. This is my life. As a recently proclaimed cancer survivor and a senior in high school, Covid-19 was unexpected. But, as challenging as this situation is, I am optimistic. I am looking forward to having a somewhat normal summer and celebrating with friends and family as soon as it is safe to do so.
Even though I didn’t have a typical high school experience and I am graduating in the middle of a global pandemic, I know that I am only stronger because of it. The class of 2020 and my fellow cancer survivors are some determined, resilient people, and I am confident that better times are coming our way.” — Olivia