Amy's Story: Always Maintaining Hope

Amy's Story: Always Maintaining Hope

The “perfect blend of shy and outgoing,” pharmacy technician Amy Olsson was proud to be the mother of baby Evan and wife to her husband of seven years, Lars. The summer of 2010 was full of balancing the care of a one-year old and work while enduring headaches, numbness in her fingers and some vision problems.

Then on October 15, Amy was told she had a brain tumour. Now, a year and a half later, Lars is sharing both the story of his family and his personal energy in support of the region’s brain tumour area’s patients, survivors and their families for the May 5 Hamilton Spring Sprint (now Brain Tumour Walk) in support of Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.

Less than one week after the shocking diagnosis, Amy was in surgery. She developed some complications soon afterwards and sadly, six weeks later she passed away. “I never left her side,” Lars recalls. Shortly before she passed away, Lars learned the pathology of the tumour, an aggressive Glioblastoma Multiforme. “I knew the likely outcome and even though we weren’t given a great prognosis, we held on to optimism,” says Lars.

The following spring some of Amy’s co-workers learned about the upcoming Spring Sprint and put together a team in her honour called Amy’s Pharmacy Friends. This year, the team is back and Lars is both a member of the team and part of the organizing committee for the Spring Sprint. A self-described “hands on person,” he is very motivated to help others affected by a brain tumour, “We need to raise more money for research and more awareness about this disease.”

Today Lars works for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority and is a busy Dad to Evan who is now almost three years old. “He really has his mother’s traits,” Lars notes. “He is a real gift from her; something of Amy is still here.”

Lars wants the Hamilton community to know that their support for the event helps provide hope and support for brain tumour patients and their families. He explains, “When you are faced with a devastating diagnosis, you need to have hope. We had hope until the day Amy passed away and I wouldn’t change that for anything.”

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Story posted: March 2012

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