I believe, and I hope that you all can agree, there is no greater feeling than that of becoming a parent. The moment that your eyes lock, it's love at first sight. There is no other love that runs deeper than the love that you feel for your children. Olivia was born on November 15 2013, she is the youngest of our two girls. When she was born, she completed our family. Areli, our older daughter, proudly took on the role of "big sissy." The bond that our girls shared was indescribable.

Around the time when Olivia was six months old, we received some news that would change our lives forever. Our hearts could never prepare for what was to come. We were told that Olivia had leukemia, Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) to be exact. I can't even begin to describe our feelings at that time. Just imagine your whole world crashing down on you and multiply that by a million and it still does not begin to describe the pain that we felt.

Her journey was not an easy one. It was far from it. But cancer never defined who she was as a person. I have always said that if it weren't for her bald little head, no one would ever know the battle that she was up against. She was always so happy. She had a smile that would captivate an entire room. She would fill the hallways of the unit with her laughter. People were always drawn to her. She loved cats, she would spend her days "meowing" at everyone. It was the sweetest sound in the world.

On November 6th 2015, just nine days from Olivia's first birthday, she had completed treatment and was in remission! We were being discharged from the hospital, and she was scheduled to have routine checkups at clinic once a month. We were over the moon with happiness. Finally our baby was going to lead a normal life and get to experience life away from the hospital.

Unfortunately it was short lived. In June of 2015, during one of her routine checkups, we received the news that we so greatly feared, Olivia had relapsed. Once again, our world came tumbling down on us. We were told that she would need a bone marrow transplant. She would have to undergo two more cycles of chemo to get her back into remission. In July of 2015 we received the greatest news that Areli was a perfect match to her sister. She would be her bone marrow donor. We whole heartedly believed that this was Olivia's second chance at life. We never once lost hope, and we kept our eye on that light at the end of the tunnel. On September 28th 2015, Olivia had once again reached remission and we were headed to transplant. She went through eight days of strong chemo, the strongest and hardest that she had ever received. She did amazing. She never failed to amaze us.

Transplant day was October 8th 2015. Both of our girls did amazing. Ellie's procedure, to harvest her bone marrow, was an hour and half long. She was so brave. And was so happy to be able to help her sister. At 6:30 pm that night, Ellie's bone marrow was transplanted into Olivia, via a transfusion that lasted eight hours! Thankfully, there were no complications during the transplant process. Eleven days after transplant, the complications began. Olivia had developed veno-occlusive disease (VOD) a disease that is most common after a bone marrow transplant. This was the sickest that we had ever seen our sweet little girl. It was the very first time since she had been diagnosed that she had to be transferred to the pediatric intensive care unit. To say that we were terrified, doesn't even begin to describe how we felt. Olivia was able to pull through and slowly but surely she began to recover from VOD.

On November 11th, four days from her second birthday, she was ready to be discharged from the hospital!! Being that we do not live close to Los Angeles, we had to stay at the Ronald McDonald house. We were ok with that. It didn't matter where we were, as long as we were together. We spent two weeks at the RMH. The Tuesday before thanksgiving we were given the news from her doctors that we could go home! It was the first time we would be home, all four of us, under the same roof, in a very long time! The Friday after thanksgiving, Olivia began to throw up. She had no other symptoms, other than her vomiting. She was on many medications, so we figured it was due to that. On Saturday she began to throw up once again, by this point, we knew something was not ok. We were desperate to find out what was wrong with our child. We drove out to the hospital, with high hopes that we would be back home soon. Once again, our hearts could never prepare for what was ahead. After many tests and scans, on December 16th 2015, we were told that Olivia once again had relapsed. We were taken into a conference room, where they explained to us that her leukemia had come back more aggressive than ever before. It had invaded the majority of her body. There was nothing else they could do. I felt as though I was having an out of body experience. How could this be? Why Olivia? This was supposed to be her second chance at a healthy life! I had so many questions. Why, why, why?! I remember I went back into the room. And I hugged my baby girl tighter than ever before. I told her how much I loved her. I held her and sang to her, like I always did. I wanted her to know that we were with her. I didn't want her to be scared. I wanted her to know that she was so loved. On December 18th, my baby girl went to heaven.

To this day, we still have a hard time believing that she is no longer here with us. It's been fifteen months since we've held our daughter. Since we've heard her voice. Life is not the same without her, nor will it ever be. But Olivia taught us so much about life in her short two years here with us. She has allowed us to see life in a completely different way. She taught us so much. So much more than any adult could ever teach us. She always saw the beauty in life, and enjoyed every single moment. I know that she will be with us forever. We will love you forever sweet angel! 


- Karla (Olivia's Mommy)