INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Olivia Stoy is a sophomore in high school and she has her whole life ahead of her.
But for the 15-year-old girl from Angola, Ind., it wasn’t easy getting here.
At just 12 years old, Olivia was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer — lymphoblastic lymphoma.
“First thing I thought was I’m going to die,” Olivia said. “I never thought of kids getting cancer. I always just thought of adults. It was really scary.”
Olivia was in remission at one point and then shortly after her 14th birthday her cancer relapsed.
“The only way to cure her cancer was to have a bone marrow transplant,” Olivia’s mother, Megan said.
The procedure for Olivia to get a bone marrow transplant would cost her family $950,000 due to insurance not covering the cost. Olivia and her parents then worked out a deal with Riley Hospital for Children that if they paid up front they could do it for $350,000 instead.
The family agreed to a cash payment for a discount and went out to their friends and family to ask for donations. They ended up raising more than $1 million.
The extra funds that weren’t used are now being granted out to families through Olivia’s “Liv It Up” effort. Kids apply and she grants them up to $5,000 to go do something fun and find a sense of normalcy in the middle of their battles with cancer and other life-threatening conditions.
“I always wanted to do something big for somebody and Liv It Up just fell into my hands,” Olivia said.
Now they’re joining their mission with “A Kid Again” which is another organization that helps families escape from the troubles of spending their time in the hospital with their loved ones.
“Olivia is an inspiration and we’re so thrilled to have her a part of what we do,” said Katie Pappas, the executive director of A Kid Again Indiana chapter.
For more on Olivia’s story watch All In Reporter Randall Newsome’s Facebook Live below.