Ordinarily, the end of summer brings anticipation over the first day of school. An exciting reminder our children will be facing new challenges, altering their routine, making new friends, and reuniting with those they haven’t seen all summer.
The Manuel’s were preparing for all this last week with Oliver and Henry before receiving news that would be every parent’s worst nightmare. On Thursday, Oliver received a terrifying cancer diagnosis - T-Cell Leukemia (ALL) and cerebral-spinal fluid (CSF) / central nervous system (CNS) Leukemia .
The night before Oliver’s (age 6) first day, he complained of abdominal pain and saw his pediatrician. Jason, Carrie, and Oliver were immediately rushed to UVA medical center. Oliver’s organs were enlarged, and he had a mass in his lungs. He began receiving aggressive regimens of chemotherapy and steroids within 24 hours of diagnosis. Quickly reducing his white blood cell count which was extremely elevated.
Oliver is undergoing an aggressive 28-day treatment plan and currently receiving the most amazing care at the University of Virginia. Working closely with Pediatric Hematologists/Oncologists Lara Riegler, MD and William C. Petersen, Jr, MD. The UVA team has prepared Jason and Carrie that Oliver’s treatment is a marathon, not a sprint – a process that will likely span two to three years. However, a cure is possible. We know this family will not give up. No matter how long it takes.
Their family was immediately inundated with calls and messages. Many of us simply hoping for optimistic news and wanting to help. For these reasons, we’ve put this page together to streamline updates of Oliver’s progress, post messages of encouragement, and to stay connected during this long journey.
In addition, a GoFundMe page has been established as way to provide support for all the unknowns they will face along the way. In true stubborn Manuel fashion, they were adamantly against this idea. However, this decision isn’t up to them as this is the best, and only, way most of us know how to support them and Oliver at this moment. Jason and Carrie will be donating any money not used for Ollie’s treatment back to LLS research.
To give directly to the Manuels, visit: https://gofund.me/7cd9a8a0
(The donation link below gives to caring bridge only).
Finally, below you’ll find a journal of entries by Carrie and Jason as they recount the events of last week. We will work with Carrie and Jason to provide ongoing updates of Ollie’s progress moving forward. #ollieovercomes #oliversarmy