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Olivia’s journey of hope and healing while fighting leukemia at Beacon Children’s

Kaitlyn and Kyle Parker have spent the past nine months at Beacon Children’s Hospital, where their daughter, Olivia, has been treated for leukemia. This journey began with a call from their pediatrician confirming the diagnosis after they noticed unaccounted for bruises on Olivia’s legs.

“I think I had a slight panic attack,” Kaitlyn recalls.

“We both did,” Kyle adds, reflecting on the shock of the bloodwork results.

This marked the start of their battle against leukemia, supported by the dedicated team at Beacon.

“We were admitted to the hospital that day. I will never forget the first words out of the doctor’s mouth were, ‘You just gained an entire family’,” Kaitlyn says.

Despite intense and prolonged treatment, Olivia shows remarkable resilience. Her last round of chemotherapy, which ended in May, took longer than expected, but she remains strong. And as soon as her blood counts return to safe levels, the family will at long-last return home.

As long as Olivia stays in remission, she will be in maintenance, which is a mix of outpatient and at-home treatment. Kaitlyn still hopes her daughter finishes treatment by fall 2025.

“Olivia is doing amazing through everything,” Kaitlyn proudly shares. “She is walking on her own, talks all the time, and loves to be out in the halls with the nurses and doctors. She is hitting most of her milestones, and we are so grateful for where she is and how well she is doing given everything she has been through these last nine months.”

Olivia’s daily hospital routine includes a variety of activities, including physical therapy sessions and speech and music therapy that support her development and keep her engaged. The Beacon Child Life specialists bringing joy and creativity into Olivia’s days through art and other projects.

Kaitlyn and Kyle are grateful for the hospital staff who have come into their lives during this challenging time. “We feel it’s so important for our community to know more about this incredible children’s hospital in our backyard,” Kaitlyn says. “We are so blessed to be here, near our family and home, and honored to share our story.”

The Parker family recently shared their journey with the American Hospital Association. Beacon Health System was selected by the AHA as one of just two healthcare organizations in the nation to be showcased in the 2024 “Telling the Hospital Story” initiative. This incredible honor has provided us the opportunity to share how we deliver outstanding and compassionate care as we walk beside patients throughout their healthcare journey with audiences across the country.

Watching the video about their time at Beacon Children’s Hospital has been a moving experience for Kaitlyn and Kyle, offering them a new perspective on their journey with Olivia.

“It was incredible to be part of the video,” Kaitlyn shares. “Hearing our own story and seeing it unfold was an emotion unlike any we’ve felt through these last months. It has given us a different perspective from our day-to-day of living with leukemia. We are so grateful for the experience.”

Kaitlyn and Kyle remain hopeful and thankful for the support they have received from their community and the dedicated hospital team. “We couldn’t do this without our incredible community and the amazing team at Beacon’s Children’s Hospital,” Kaitlyn says.

As they look toward the future, the Parkers hold onto hope and gratitude, knowing they are not alone on this journey. “Watching Olivia’s strength and resilience inspires us every day,” Kaitlyn says. “We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful support system.”

Olivia’s journey continues, but she grows stronger and closer to recovery each day. The Parkers’ story is a testament to the power of community, love, and unwavering determination in the face of adversity. “Through it all, Olivia’s smile and spirit remind us that there is always hope,” Kaitlyn says. “She is our beacon of light, guiding us through the darkest times.”

 

 

Beacon Cancer Care offers comprehensive cancer care services from diagnosis through treatment, rehabilitation, and ongoing care, and approaches a treatment plan that fits each patient’s diagnosis and needs. The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer has recognized Memorial Hospital of South Bend and Elkhart General Hospital for their patient-first approach and dedication to providing the highest quality cancer care. We never give up.

About Heidi Prescott

Passionate about writing her whole life, Heidi Prescott joined Beacon Health System in 2015 and currently serves as Senior Media Relations Strategist. A former newspaper journalist who has experience in TV, radio, magazines and social media, Heidi loves storytelling, photography and spending time in nature.