Ollie's brave battle inspiring Wishlist Fun Run entrants - Wishlist Org
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Ollie’s brave battle inspiring Wishlist Fun Run entrants

22nd August, 2022

With his cheeky grin and fun-loving nature, you’d never know Ollie has spent the last year fighting leukaemia (ALL).

Just five days after welcoming their second-born Dylan, Sunshine Coast parents Alena and Hayden Siney were told their then-two year old son Ollie had Acute lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL), a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow.

“There were a few signs of swelling before Dylan was born, Ollie’s eyes were puffy and he got a few bruises on his legs,” Alena recalls.

“The first two years of his life he was super healthy and energetic, so it was surprising to see something was not right with him.

“When his newborn brother was five days old, Ollie was transferred to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital (SCUH) to do a complete check up and that very day he was diagnosed with leukaemia.

“We never imagined this illness would touch us, especially at one of the happiest times of our lives.”

Despite the heart wrenching news, Alena says “I was confident that this new journey was an opportunity to grow personally and as a family and in fact has been an enormously transforming adventure”

“Oliver was transferred to the Children’s Hospital in Brisbane for the first month so we all moved too. Hayden assumed the role of primary carer for Ollie while I primarily focused on Dylan with everything that comes with having a newborn.”

Oliver and his mum Alena.

Ollie endured an arduous treatment schedule, like for example six doses of chemo every couple of days, for two weeks and multiple trips to Brisbane.

“There were shorter days but sometimes we travelled from 5am until 7pm. It was exhausting for us, but more for the kids.

“We’ll never forget when our little Ollie stopped walking, talking, eating, even smiling for a week as a result of his treatment at the early stages.

“It was stressful and sad not being able to take Ollie out of that situation.”

Step by step, Ollie’s spark returned and he slowly became himself again – the observant resourceful and affectionate boy he was before treatment.

“One of the happiest days of our lives was seeing his gorgeous smile again,” Alena says.

Ollie is been in remission since the first stage of treatment and now is in the ‘maintenance’ phase which will continue until September next year.

“We check bloods at SCUH every two weeks and have check-ups with the paediatrician. Ollie and Dylan enjoy visiting the hospital because there is always entertainment. The Clown Doctors are fabulous and Ollie loves seeing them. We are always playing with the big interactive screen too.

“We honour hospital foundations like Wishlist because it makes this journey so much smoother for our children. From a family who has spent a lot of time in hospital, we appreciate those resources.”

One year on, Ollie is now three and a happier and stronger boy. His hair is growing back and he is back playing with his diggers in the yard wearing his favourite gumboots.

“Every day we are grateful – from the simplest and ordinary things to the big things,” Alena says.

“It’s a good reminder that an illness is always a master that comes with learnings and love, gratitude and hope will help you to see your situation with a new light”

Ollie is the face of this year’s Wishlist Fun Run happening at Lake Kawana on October 16. Register to run, walk or team up.