WORCESTER, Mass. - Friends and family are sending cheerful messages to 11-year-old Olivia LaMountain.
“It’s really nice and kind," Olivia LaMountain said. "It's great to have a lot of friends and have them support you."
Olivia was feeling cold and tired a lot, so doctors ran some tests. She was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in September and is receiving chemotherapy at UMass Memorial Children's Medical Center.
“There have been days where it’s been rough and you don’t want to do anything, but other days it’s been like a normal day," LaMountain said.
She’s spent more than a month in the hospital, but Olivia has a big team of family and friends from Central Massachusetts rallying around her.
A lot of them are participants in this year’s UMass Cancer Walk and Run. They’re holding signs, wearing matching t-shirts, and some are even rocking tutus.
“The outpouring of support from her dance studio, her school, all the community. They had a day for her at school where they wore her favorite color," Lisa Quitadamo, Olivia’s grandmother, said. "It’s just been amazing."
Team Olivia Strong is made up of about 130 people and raised more than $14,000 to help with cancer research and trials at UMass Chan Medical School.
“It’s great that the money is going to them to do the research, to hopefully find some sort of cure. Even if Olivia doesn’t have a cure for it now, and medicine they have currently is working for her which is great." Alex LaMountain, Olivia's mother, said. "If they can find a cure for somebody down the road, I am so happy to be a part of it."
And even though Olivia couldn’t attend the walk because of her condition, she says she’s feeling the support of those who love her.
“It makes me feel like I got it," Olivia said. "I can do it."
Olivia has about two years of treatments and tests left, but she was released from the hospital Saturday. Her family celebrated with a drive by celebration for her after Sunday's walk.
Nearly 3,000 people registered to participate in the event overall. Organizers expected to raise more than $650,000.