WESTFIELD, NJ — Olivia Morrison went through nine months of chemotherapy and other treatments for Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of bone and soft tissue cancer, during her senior year at Westfield High School.
Morrison, 19, who graduated last year will run a 5K in Verona Saturday, June 8, to support the Valerie Fund, the hospital-based cancer care center that has helped her in her fight against cancer.
“Cancer has been an incredibly hard and traumatic thing to experience at such a young age, and my future is still very uncertain as relapse rates are high for my type of diagnosis,” Morrison said. “I had to take the 2018-19 school year off.”
Were it not for her cancer, Morrison would have attended her freshman year at the University of Maryland. Instead, she worked at the Salad House in Westfield, she said.
Morrison writes on her fundraising page for the team Liv Strong that she first felt symptoms that came with Ewing’s sarcoma in 2017.
How You Can Help: Visit the Liv Strong Team Page to Learn About Supporting the Cause
Since her diagnosis, Morrison said, she has undergone at least 14 chemotherapy cycles, proton-therapy radiation and lung radiation and recently finished a trial drug at the Valerie Center in Morristown.
Morrison is not alone in her journey.
Sue and Ed Goldstein founded the Valerie Fund in honor of their young daughter, Valerie, who died of Ewing’s sarcoma, opening the First Valarie Fund Children’s Center at Overlook Medical Center in Summit in 1976.
Today, Valerie Fund Children’s Centers comprise seven facilities for children with cancer and blood disorders in New Jersey. It is one of the largest in the nation. It will be the second year Morrison is participating in the annual 5K in support of the Valerie Fund.
“People can join my team and/or donate to my team,” Morrison said. “All the proceeds go toward the Valerie Fund, which is a nonprofit that provides comprehensive care to children with cancer and blood disorders.”
Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at firstname.lastname@example.org; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh