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Cancer survivor publishes memoir with the help of Make-A-Wish

'Liv: A Memoir' goes on sale Tuesday.
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Posted at 10:59 PM, Dec 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-06 23:24:07-05

INDIANAPOLIS — After beating cancer twice, 19-year-old Olivia Stoy is sharing her struggles and successes with the help of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Supporters were lined up at Butler University Wednesday night to share the moment of a lifetime for Stoy.

“She has so much behind her that she has gone through and yet she carries herself with such grace,” Ellie Hooven, Stoy’s friend and roommate, said.

In 2016, at the age of 12, Stoy was diagnosed with T-Lymphoblastic Lymphoma.

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"I went through treatment and everything. I was technically cancer-free in February 2017," Stoy said.

Assuming she could finally get her life back on track. In Feb. 2018, she relapsed.

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In need of a bone marrow transplant to save her life, Stoy’s community came together and helped raise $350,000 to cover the transplant after her insurance wouldn’t cover it.

“My friends and supporters were all very positive about it. I think that was a big thing — staying positive,” Stoy said.

Stoy chose to make lemonade out of the lemons life was throwing at her, defying the odds of childhood cancer.

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"Each child is so unique, especially Olivia," Juli Miller, Chief Mission Officer with Make-A-Wish, said.

Miller said in her 19 years with Make-A-Wish, Olivia’s wish was special.

"Very unique. Wanting to be an author and specifically really hone-in on her experience," Miller said.

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With the help of author Rick Farrant, ‘Liv: A Memoir’ has deemed Stoy as the newest author from the Hoosier state.

"I think I got more out of this than Olivia did. I'm the one who got the gift,” Farrant said. "There are lots of stories out there about courage and hope. This is a particularly good one because Olivia almost died and yet, through it all this family persevered."

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"We started meeting every Saturday for about two hours and he just asked me questions, getting to know my story. He interviewed my family and then sometime last year, the book was finished," Stoy said.

Butler University published the book. Giving her story the light, it deserves to help another child out there.

"What I hope people get out of this is don't stop believing, don't stop hoping because sometimes miracles do happen,” Farrant said.

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"I wrote in my author's note that if you get anything from this book is that you see God is Good," Stoy said.

'Liv: A Memoir' goes on sale Thursday. You can purchase it at Butler's bookstore on campus and online. You can also purchase the book at a few businesses in her hometown, Angola.