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Shining through CF: Olivia Grace

Her feet didn’t touch the floor as she scooted back into her chair. Her rosy cheeks held a shy smile and her pigtails bounced as she struggled to sit still.

Olivia Grace was in the spotlight, and loving it.

From first glance, Olivia Grace is your normal 8 year-old. Fidgety, energetic, and when asked a simple question, she’d answer, then immediately remember something you MUST know.

“I have two pets,” said Olivia Grace. “A dog named Bird and a cat, Tabby.”

And while Olivia Grace looked like your ordinary child, she lives with extraordinary circumstances.

“I have thick mucus, in my lungs,” said Olivia Grace. “I have to take breathing treatments, and wear my vest.”

Olivia Grace has cystic fibrosis, a condition which produces thick mucus on her organs and in her lungs.

Olivia Grace’s mother, Becky Dennis, said that with Olivia Grace’s condition, 30 pills are needed a day, and multiple breathing treatments.

“At the school they’ll give her the breathing treatment,” said Dennis. “And if she’s sick, I’ll take off and go to the school and give her the additional treatments myself. She’ll need three or four or more when she’s sick.”

Right now, Olivia cannot attend school until the flu stops going around.

“When other kids get sick, I get sicker,” said Olivia Grace.

Olivia Grace had a wish granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation last year.

“I wanted a camper!” said Olivia Grace. “Other wishes you get them once and they are gone, this one you keep getting. I wanted to go camping.. but not in a tent, ever!”

Dennis said the camper is equipped with everything Olivia Grace needs for treatment.

“It has space for all her medicines,” said Dennis. “It gives us freedom.”

In the past, travel for Olivia Grace was limited, because of the risk of infection. The slightest infection can have the biggest consequences for her as she battles cystic fibrosis.

Olivia Grace had advice for other kids like her.

“Be yourself,” said Olivia Grace. “Do what you want! I take gymnastics, and I’m getting better. Just keep going. Keep going.”

The Make-A-Wish Foundation Mississippi is hosting a NCAA Bracket Challenge. Find out more about the challenge and how to donate by clicking here.

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