7-year-old Ollie, aka ‘Ollie bear’, is a kind-hearted, empathetic, and creative young man.
Last year, in mid-September, Ollie and his family set out on a road trip from Wyong to Lismore. Ollie’s dad had been working away for a little while, and everyone was excited for some quality family time.
On the drive, Ollie’s eye started to turn slightly inwards. He was also seeing double and suffering from headaches.
A couple trips to the ER and an MRI scan later, and his family’s world was flipped upside down.
Ollie was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain tumour, known as embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma.
His tumour is located in the base of his skull, making it inoperable. It has caused nerve palsy in his eye, as well as eroding part of his skull and the carotid artery.
Two days after he was diagnosed, Ollie was transported from Lismore Hospital to Sydney Children’s Hospital via ambulance and private patients’ plane.
Shortly after, Ollie started chemotherapy and since then he’s spent many days confined in isolation to keep him safe from harmful bugs and infections. A temperature of 38 degrees is an immediate emergency visit, and he’s had close to 20 visits so far (if not more).
Ollie often turns to art to help pass time, express himself and cope with his treatment. He can spend hours creating beautiful, brightly coloured, and incredibly detailed drawings that make people smile without fail.
Since his diagnosis, Ollie has endured 42 weeks of frontline chemotherapy, 31 rounds of radiotherapy and he’s currently part-way through a 24-week maintenance treatment protocol.
He is now receiving IV chemo once a week as well as oral chemo daily. This phase is due to finish up before Christmas.
Unfortunately, given how aggressive Ollie’s type of cancer is, there is a 30% chance of relapse… making the first 12 months after treatment particularly scary.
But Ollie and his family are looking forward to a future where Ollie is in the clear and they can all breathe again.
Ollie’s mum told us, “It means the world to know people are pedalling for children like Ollie… these kids deserve the world and a fair chance at life.”
Ollie, we’re going to do you proud this October! We’re riding for YOU!