Olivia Perseveres May 22, 2015 12:09 AM

We’ve all heard it, “when you fall down, dust yourself off and try again”. It’s the definition of perseverance.

Four year old Olivia demonstrates that perseverance daily, at times falling up to 40 times per day. Olivia became ill when she was just eighteen months old, but was just diagnosed last fall with Episodic Ataxia Type 1. Because her seizures and symptoms would come and go, diagnosis was difficult…and during that time her parents watched and worried as her physical abilities declined.

Thanks to new medications she now has “good days” with very few falls. It was on one of those “good days” last October, her parents watched Olivia run for the first time. She is a very caring little girl, loves reading and artwork. She also loves getting mail, so recently she began mailing out pictures to people she cares about. She calls this, “sending hugs”. Hand tremors, trunk weakness and falling down are still part of Olivia’s daily life – but her family is committed to not letting Olivia’s illness define her life! And what a life!


Olivia participates in gymnastics, dance, and loves to swim because you can’t fall while swimming. With all this, one thing was missing. Olivia wanted to ride bikes with her family and friends on the bike path near her home. There were two challenges with this. First, what kind of adaptive bike would work for Olivia and second, how could the family afford to pay for this specialized piece of equipment?

That’s where Variety KC comes in. With numerous resources, Variety will work with the family and healthcare professionals to identify the safest bike for Olivia. Then, following their mission of providing mobility for children right here in the Kansas City area, Variety will fund Olivia’s new “ride”.

Variety is able to make Olivia’s dream come true through the generosity of our donors and volunteers. If you would like to learn more about Variety and help a child to be active, be communicative or to be involved – please email


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