Meet Liv! She’s the inspiration for this blog. Liv is an 11 year old girl who is full of smiles and personality, and can be quite the cheeky monkey too, just quietly! She was diagnosed with low grade brain and spinal tumours just before her 6th birthday and has been through more than any child should.
This is one very tough and brave kid. She has had to learn to walk again after a scary but necessary spinal surgery left her unable to move her left leg. She now wears an Ankle Foot Orthotic (AFO Brace) on her leg to help her walk. And as if that isn’t enough plastic for one kid to wear, she now has scoliosis caused by the primary tumour, so she proudly wears a Boston back brace too! She lived in a hospital for 52 days, has had 4 surgeries (some big, some small), had nasty chemotherapy, IV vitamin C therapy, has botox in her leg every 6 months or so, MRI scans every 4 months and since the tumour started growing again 18 months ago, has been on a sugar/dairy/gluten free, high raw plant based organic diet! Green smoothies everyday! She is a champion and has never been so well! We have finally found the path we need to travel to heal her and to keep our whole family healthy.
The tumours cause symptoms such as poor concentration, impulse control issues, anxiety, low muscle tone, poor fine and gross motor skills, scoliosis, fluid on the brain causing pressure….way too many things! I realise there are many people worse off, and most days I’m really positive about it all because of the way Liv copes with her challenges. But some days, well, I just want to punch things because it’s just not fair! But not Liv! She just gets on with it, these issues have never stopped her from doing what she wants to! She is a stubborn…sorry, I mean determined girl!
One of the biggest issues she deals with at the moment, is the scoliosis. She wears her brace 23 hours a day and the hope is that we can hold the curve steady. If it increases, surgery is the only option, so we obviously hope to avoid it. We never thought Liv would cope so well wearing her brace, but she wears it without complaint. She’s amazing :)
The photo at the top is fairly typical. Ipad, Elsa dress and her puppy George! These are her favourite things in life! She is a HUGE Frozen fan, and don’t ever quote the movie incorrectly in front of her, or you will be verbally slapped down! Her favourite food is avocado sushi, her favourite singers are Ben Forster, Taylor Swift, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Kylie, Katy Perry and 1D. She loves The Hawthorn football club and her favourite player is Hodgey. You may not think this is important information, but I’m told by Liv that it most definitely is! She’s very excited to be the star of this blog and she’s keen to contribute You Tube videos and goodness knows what else, so stay tuned, it should be a fun ride!