Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal last week proclaimed September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and Olivia Graham of Dawson County was there for the signing.
Five-year-old Olivia has been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, so she and her mother, Maggie, wanted to be at the state capitol when the proclamation was signed.
Maggie Graham said the proclamation will help raise awareness about childhood cancer.
On April 30, she said, we knew little about the world of childhood cancer. On May 1, our world changed and our eyes were opened wide when we walked down the halls of the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders wing of Scottish Rite. Each room was occupied with a child that was fighting the battle that we had just begun.
Every week, Olivia and Maggie travel to Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta for Olivias chemotherapy treatments. Although the cancer has a high curability rate, Olivia must go through treatments for the next two and a half years.
Right now, Olivia is going through the toughest portion of the treatment. Were in the worst-phase treatment because its a pretty strong chemo, Maggie said. The phase of chemo is called delayed intensification, she said.
In between chemo sessions, Olivia is living like most 5-year olds. She just started kindergarten at Blacks Mill Elementary. She loves school, her mother said. Weve been really blessed by the school. They work with us being out and have done a lot for us.
People wanting to support the Graham family can join them at Moes on Oct. 10, when the restaurant plans a Livi night, with 25 percent of the proceeds from the night going to the family. An account for donations has been set up at United Community Bank.
Through it all, Maggie said the family feels blessed. Weve been so blessed by the community, she said. The outreach, the peoples support has been fabulous.
The family takes one day at a time. As long as we get her better, she said, thats all that matters.
For more information you may visit the familys Facebook page www.facebook.com/oliviakategraham.