Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Olive’s story:

In the lead up to Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Gold Week on June 11, Motherpedia will be featuring the stories of people who have been helped by the tremendous work of the foundation. This is Olive’s story told by her mum Jodie...
By Motherpedia
Date: May 03 2012
Editor Rating:

My name is Olive. I have just turned 3.

I LOVE going to Kindy to play. But I haven’t been able to do that much lately.

 I have a lump in my brain.

I was diagnosed with Brain Cancer (Medulloblastoma) and have spent most of my time at Sydney Children’s Hospital getting treatment to try and get rid of my lump. It was really tough. First I had to have an operation to take the lump out. Then I had to have another operation to put my Wiggly in (that’s what I call my Central Line. It takes all of the medicine straight into my blood without me having to have too many needles).

Then I had to have lots and lots of very strong medicine called Chemo. I felt really sick. All of my hair fell out. Even my eyelashes and eyebrows fell out. I had sores all over my mouth and all the way down into my tummy. It hurt a lot. I didn’t want to eat anything. So the nurses gave me my nose tube so that my body could get food into it without me having to eat. This way I could get bigger and stronger. My body forgot how to make blood properly and so I had to borrow other people’s blood through lots of Blood Transfusions. I had Chemo for 6 months. I lived in the hospital for almost this whole time. I missed my brother and my home very much.

Everyone at the hospital tried their very best to make it fun for me and all the other kids. Hi 5 came to visit, and I became friends with Stevie. Kylie the Play Therapist and Verena and Sarifa the Music Therapists came up with lots of games, songs and craft for us. They would even help if I was scared about a procedure. Verena would come and play music for me if I was feeling sick and Kylie helped me make a doll that had a nose tube too. When I was feeling up to it, I would visit the ward playroom or the Fairy Garden. This gave me a chance to be away from my bed for a little while.

All of the doctors and the nurses took very good care of me. They were very gentle and kind. Even when I was cranky and scared.

Dr. Cohn decided that I needed to have Radiotherapy on my brain even though they don’t like to do it on young kids like me. I had to have a Medicine Sleep (General Anaesthetic) every day for a month so that the radiation could get rid of my lump. Hopefully this means that the lump will not come back.

On May last year, I had my last operation to take Wiggly out. This means NO MORE TREATMENT! I can go back to Kindy to play with my brother and make some new friends too.

Mummy wanted me to share my story to let you know just how important Gold Week is for all of the families at Sydney Children’s Hospital. Serious illness is indiscriminate. It strikes families of all types.

At any one time, up to six different families can live in the one room, separated only by a curtain for extended periods of time. Each family is under enormous pressure, each child is seriously ill.  It has the potential to be a volatile environment, yet somehow, we all come to function as a bizarre dysfunctional family.

The injection of funds into the hospital helps to provide a good standard of infrastructure that ensures day to day hospital life is as palatable as possible for those of us living there.

Please enjoy Gold Week. Give what you can, laugh when you can.

To donate or for information on how you can help the foundation, visit:

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