DEWITT, Mich. (WLNS) – Caring, accepting and full of life…that’s how Olivia Kay Borodychuk’s parents, Lisa and Chad describe their daughter.
“She used to giggle and laugh and do all the things that you know children do but it’s just there was a very special bond I had with her,” said Chad Borodychuk; Olivia’s dad.
“Olivia was just very sweet, very kind, full of grace,” Lisa Borodychuk stated; Olivia’s mom.
Olivia was born with a rare genetic disease called Leukodystrophy…also known as “Alexander Disease.”
“Development goes backwards so for children like Olivia with a disease like that…even though she was able to sit up, play with blocks, giggle, do things like that she slowly over time lost her ability to function,” said Chad.
A reality that was difficult to cope with.
“At first I think with any parent you kind of live in denial when you hear your child had just been diagnosed with a terminal illness,” Lisa added.
To help ease Olivia’s pain, Lisa created pillows to make her feel more comfortable…later to be known as “The Olivia Kay Foundation’s Pillow Project.”
“Lisa said hey let’s make a bunch of pillows and see how it goes and so that became our big initiative for the foundation,” said Chad.
Big not only for Olivia, but for local pediatric hospitals with children battling the inevitable.
“I think at first when people hear the word pillow they think of your standard bed pillow but when they actually see these in all different colors and shapes and sizes and different characters, these hospitals are so excited,” Lisa stated.
The project took off like wildfire and for the last two years, Lisa and Chad have made nearly 4,000 pillows…touching the lives of thousands of kids just like Olivia and helping them to feel comfortable as they battle their own medical issues.
But sadly, after a long, hard fight against her own battle Olivia passed away.
She’s been gone for nearly a month and while it hasn’t been easy, both her parents say they’re hoping to continue this pillow making in her honor.
“I think Olivia would be honored…I think she would be very happy to know that all that she went through produced something that could help other children who are going through the same thing,” said Chad.
“I know that her looking down on us she would say you know you guys did good,” Lisa added.
While she wasn’t on earth for long, this 8 year-old made a long-lasting impact and her legacy is sure to live on.