The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance recently caught up with Olivia Current, a four-year Acute Myeloid Leukemia survivor and the first recipient of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship. Since her diagnosis at age 16, Olivia has been beating the odds and looking forward to her dream of becoming a pediatric nurse. In the future, Olivia hopes to inspire, encourage, and heal other sick children. Here’s what Olivia had to say:
Director of Awareness Programs
We are pleased and proud to award the first Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship to Olivia Current.
Olivia is a four-year cancer survivor. In 2011, at the age of 16, she was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, and her subsequent treatment required not only rounds of intense chemotherapy but also a bone-marrow transplant to address a DNA mutation. Olivia’s experience was fraught with complications from infections to graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a condition in which the newly transplanted tissue attacks the receiver’s system.
The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is proud to announce the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship program to benefit college students whose lives have been affected by cancer. $4,000 will be awarded each semester (Spring 2015 and Fall 2015) to one student who has battled any kind of cancer or who has witnessed the personal struggle of a parent, sibling or other immediate family member or close friend.
It is estimated that two out of three people diagnosed with cancer will live five years or longer after their initial diagnosis. Healthcare professionals advise that the quality of care after a patient has entered remission will have a profound impact on the life expectancy of a survivor. Therefore, it’s very important to develop a survivorship plan to help you and your loved ones enjoy life every given day and adjust to your new normal.
A cancer diagnosis is a difficult and life changing situation for anyone. Often when people receive the news, their families gather around them for support. Some try to underplay the importance of family and claim that the patient needs to create a better mental space for him or herself. However, the role that family plays in a cancer patient’s life is simply undeniable.
The holidays are a stressful time even when you are not sick. Hours of shopping, putting up decorations, and cooking meals and baking cookies – it is no wonder that this time of year can wear a person down. When you are battling an illness like cancer, staying healthy has to take priority. That is easy to say, but not easy to do when the holidays create memories that no one wants to miss. Staying organized and listening to your body is the key to dealing with the stress of holiday season with cancer.
Cancer can bring your life to a screeching halt, but you’ll find that as you go through treatment and as each day comes closer to normal, you still need to move forward. One way to normalize each day after a cancer diagnosis is through exercise. The National Cancer Institute states that exercise has an enormous positive benefit on both cancer treatment and cancer risk reduction. However, if you have never exercised before it can be hard to get into it.
Physical activity is known to decrease the risk for certain cancers and other serious illnesses. What's more, recent studies suggest that regular exercise can also improve overall health and quality of life for those who have already been diagnosed with the disease: this includes people who have just been diagnosed, those currently in treatment and even those in remission.