By Sanford Children's Hospital

When we first met Olivia, her mom said she cried every day. She didn’t understand what was happening. She didn’t understand why she couldn’t do all the things she used to or be around all the kids she used to.

While her parents continued to work at their jobs, which allowed one of them to be with her at all times, Joy told us that their only plan for every day was to fight cancer. They lived in fear that they would lose her far too soon. They already fought to save her life when she was born early and spent time in the NICU – why were they forced to fight for her life again… and already?

But one solace is that Olivia likes everyone at the Castle. She says that the doctors and nurses are her friends, which really means something, since normally she considers adults in general to be friends of her parents.

Friends and family joined together after Olivia’s diagnosis and did “Hands Around the House.” Everyone gathered to pray and sing hymns and joined hands all around the outside of their home to surround their house and the family with love and prayers. It was emotional and uplifting - something that was a great need for this family.

In addition, another family friend visited with Olivia to make “Beads of Courage.” Each bead represents part of Olivia’s journey with cancer. It’s an amazing tribute and legacy of Olivia’s fight with cancer. And now that they’ve overcome it, it’s a reminder of the fight and their win. Olivia completed her treatment in November 2013.

Olivia Haugen

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