A three-year old mid-Michigan girl suffering from cancer will be the star of a basketball game tonight. Olivia Enderle of Ovid has spent much of her life battling cancer--- and tonight, the community will rally around her family.
She has a form of cancer called neuroblastoma and spent almost an entire year in the hospital. But she beat the odds and is now strong enough to undergo surgery to remove the rest of the tumor.
"There's a big basketball game. I don't know all the details. There are surprises for us too," said Olivia's mom, Emily.
After two years in and out of the hospital, Olivia is now learning to walk and talk.
"She's just catching up. She wants to do everything every three and four year old wants to do... by far."
It all started in May 2010 with flu symptoms. A tumor was discovered, and Olivia was life-flighted to Michigan's Mott Children's Hospital where she would spend 282 straight days.
"She almost didn't make it through surgery. They basically told us she wasn't going to make it. And she did cause she's our trooper and likes to make liars out of them all the time," said Olivia's mom.
Olivia is now strong enough to undergo surgery to remove what is left of her tumor and be placed on the kidney transplant list. Tonight's benefit will help pay for the surgery and the full-time job of treatments.
"School, feeding therapy, physical therapy, dialysis" are all part of their routine, says Emily.
Olivia can't wait to wear her purple dress and flash her smile to a crowd of supporters.
The benefit basketball game starts at 6:30 at Ovid-Elsie High School. Admission is free, but donations are greatly appreciated. There will be a 50-50 drawing, face painting, cookies, popcorn, and cotton candy. Anyone who is going is asked to wear purple, Olivia's favorite color.