Shortly before his sixth birthday, Wyatt of Merrill, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). An otherwise healthy and physically active child who loves soccer, legos and giraffes, Wyatt started experiencing intense pain in his legs. At first, his parents tried dulling the pain with Tylenol but Wyatt could no longer support his weight because of the inconsolable pain and they knew something was wrong. They received the shock of their lives on September 5, 2012, when they received a diagnosis of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). It was supposed to be Wyatt’s second day of kindergarten.
Wyatt was admitted to Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Unit. It had been six days since he walked, played, jumped or ran. After a series of painful procedures and administering medication to his spine, he was finally able to sit up in bed and walk in minimal pain. Wyatt spent 30 days in quarantine to protect his vulnerable immune system and not be exposed to any illnesses. Despite the weekly spinal taps, bone marrow aspirations, steroids and placement of a central port to deliver chemotherapy medication, Wyatt remained in good spirits. Hospitalizations were brightened by Music Therapy Services, his Child Life Specialist, slushies and the Peds Toy Room. He even asked to hold his 6th birthday at the Hospital.
Bi-weekly trips to Marshfield for appointments and hospitalizations became monthly trips. Despite the challenges, the Olivotti Family have been able to experience kindness in others and feel that the experience has pulled the family closer together as a unit. Wyatt’s Mom, Heather, shares the message about the experience, “One day at a time is always the best you can do. Cherish every minute and celebrate even the smallest of successes.” Wyatt completed his active treatment in March 2015. He and his family are looking forward to establishing a new “normal.”
Parents: Tom & Heather Olivotti
Siblings: Zoey, Kole