would like to introduce you to my son, Oliver Taylor Lion Daneshgar. Ollie will be turning 5 in June and he is my world, along with his little brother Phoenix.
Ollie has always been cautious and shy. He’s a rule follower like his momma and easily smart, understanding situations better than he should at his young age. He doesn’t have a competitive bone in his body. Ollie loves music and could sing most of Queen’s best hits, word for word, soon after he could talk. He loves being home, but always has a good time when he’s out.
In October 2019, Ollie developed a cough that would just not go away. It would keep him up at night, and you could see he was losing a little of his sparkle as his energy diminished. After an initial bronchitis diagnosis and a round of antibiotics, his fever came back, his color was off and we knew something was up. Nothing could have prepared us for the news though.
Ollie had a blood test the morning of November 6. That night, his pediatrician tried calling my husband and I no less than 15 times once she received the results; we were fast asleep and didn’t hear our phones. Imagine waking up to the local police department banging on your door at midnight, telling you to get your child to the hospital as quickly as possible. The pediatrician had called the police when she couldn’t reach us because she felt Ollie’s blood results were too critical to wait until morning.
Ollie was a champion that night. Looking back, it was almost like his little 4 year old body and mind knew that going to the hospital meant he was finally going to feel better. He did not complain when we got him out of bed, he powered through getting the IV in the ER even though he hates needles, and he stayed calm as he undoubtedly saw his father and I alternately leaving his room to break down in tears. He stayed awake the entire hour long ambulance ride to the children’s hospital and charmed all of the doctors and nurses along the way with his smile and laugh.
Ollie was admitted to the hospital on November 7, 2019 with a diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and was discharged a month later on December 9, 2019. There have been some bumps and turns along the way but Ollie’s prognosis is currently very good. He will be starting his fourth Phase of chemotherapy treatments this coming week.
I have been documenting Ollie’s journey on our CaringBridge page (https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/ollielion
).The month in the hospital was difficult and there were some pretty emotional nights where I could only turn to writing. I also found it difficult to pray myself, so I used the page as a way to ask others to lift Ollie’s health up in prayer.
Ollie is still the boy I described in the beginning of his story but there’s more depth to him than before. He’s a little more carefree on the days we can escape the house or times we can be around kids his own age. Our community has embraced his journey and he will tell people he’s “famous” instead of telling them he’s sick. I pray he comes out of this nightmare as happy, compassionate, and ready to face the world as he is now.
He’s doing amazing - his last chemo treatment and port removal was in December. It’s monthly blood work for him now and I’m still dealing with the trauma of what happened, but Ollie’s word for this year is “normal”. He just wants to be like all the other kids (he doesn’t understand how he will ALWAYS be more than normal because of what he went through).
We would be honored if you ran a mile on behalf of Ollie and his cancer journey. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do.