Olivia Caldwell Foundation Now Offers Patient Advocate Program

Posted April 30, 2021 by Prairie Wife -

This guest post was written by Katie Caldwell-Burchett, the CEO/Founder of the Olivia Caldwell Foundation and the author of BeautyFromTheAshes, a blog that focuses on finding new life after loss.

The Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a nonprofit in Casper that focuses on finding a cure for pediatric cancer and improving the lives of children battling chronic or complicated medical conditions.

I became a mom for the first time at the ripe age of 24 to twins.

I had a boy and a girl and after a tough pregnancy and early delivery to save all three of our lives, I was content with being done having more children and soaking up these two precious and healthy children I had been blessed with.

God had other plans for me.

Just a few months after their birth, I began to notice that something was different about Olivia compared to her brother.

Wyatt was smiling, cooing, staying awake more and more, and interacting with me. Olivia was sleeping constantly, not making eye contact, and her infant startles had returned.

Then as time went on, her symptoms became even more noticeable. My little girl’s eyes began to bounce back and forth and eventually, she began to have seizures.

I called her doctor as often as several times a day before we were finally life-flighted to a Children’s Hospital in Denver where the first image of the mass growing in her brain was seen on a CT scan.

The next day I would learn that my 4-month-old daughter had brain cancer.

Life as I knew it would never be the same again.

patient advocate

During Olivia’s long battle with brain cancer I had a lot of people in my circle who helped me navigate through the turmoil surrounding her diagnosis, treatment, and the havoc it created for my entire family.

I was specially blessed with a dear friend who was a Best Beginnings nurse.

She became an advocate for me and for Olivia.

She was able to research the best programs that could support us during that time in life, including Children’s Special Health, WIC, Jason’s Friends Foundation, and more.

She not only helped me fill out and submit applications, but she took the guesswork out of the entire process.

I felt loved and supported and cared for during an already stressful time in my life.

I’ve said ever since that everyone needs a Candice when they are going through something like this with their child.

Since creating the Olivia Caldwell Foundation in late 2013 after my daughter’s death we have been able to do a lot of different things to help families who are in the same or similar situations with their own children through our funding of pediatric cancer research and the Pediatric Specialty Outreach Clinic in Casper.

patient advocate

Most recently, however, we were able to expand our services even further in a way that I am really excited about!

We have created a Patient Advocacy Program along with the help of the Orrs Hope Foundation that gives other families the opportunity to have a “Candice” in their life when their child is sick.

Our Patient Advocate, Katelin, joined our staff in November 2020 and has been doing a TON of research so she can become an expert in all of the available resources to help families with a variety of needs.

She has done the legwork and has learned the ins and outs of all of the wonderful resources that already exist in our state so she can get you connected to the programs that can help. She is also an incredible support and is happy to offer a listening and impartial ear to families who are struggling with their child’s medical condition.

Our Patient Advocate can provide support and connections to resources that assist with travel expenses, rent assistance, childcare, school accommodations, medical support, food assistance, counseling, and anything else a family needs throughout their child’s illness.

patient advocate

Our philosophy for this program is to provide WHOLE FAMILY CARE because the diagnosis is difficult for everyone in the family!

Our Patient Advocate Program is available FOR FREE to all Wyoming families regardless of income level or child’s diagnosis.

We want to help make life just a little bit easier for you during this difficult time by helping you get connected to one or more of the incredible resources available to help you.

If you are interested in learning more or connecting with Katelin for support please visit our website www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org or give us a call at 307-333-1273.

We are here to help you!

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