North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

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May 9, 2014

Relay for Life honors 5-year-old cancer survivor Mary Elizabeth Olvey



After she was diagnosed, she had a dance recital a few days later.

“She was determined to go to her recital,” Olvey said. And she did.

“Dancing is one of the things that got her through all this,” Olvey said. “A lot of kids, and adults, want to sit around and feel sorry for themselves. She went through a few spells of  being real sick, but she never stopped dancing.”

Mary Elizabeth also cheers and plays baseball.

Now, more than a year after being diagnosed with leukemia, Mary Elizabeth is in remission, although she still has more than a year of chemotherapy treatments left. Her hair is growing back, and the family is excited about taking part in Relay For Life. Mary Elizabeth has three brothers, ages 19, 15 and 12. Her father is Michael Olvey.

She will lead the Survivors’ Lap at Relay For Life, wearing a cape. This year’s theme is Super Heroes.

“She is a very strong little girl,” Olvey said. “She’s my hero.”

Also at Relay, Mary Elizabeth will dance a duet with Olvey’s niece, Taylor Grace Eustice, and with another well-known young cancer survivor’s group: Alex Swader’s Dancers Fighting Cancer.

Relay For Life Chairperson Amanda Lovett encourages all cancer survivors to attend Relay For Life, which will honor survivors with a meal and other events.

This year’s North Jefferson Relay For Life goal is to raise $65,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Relay will be at the Gardendale Civic Center May 17, noon to midnight, and will feature live entertainment and other activities. The closing act is the band Franklin Road.

For more information about Relay For Life or survivors’ events, call Lovett at (954) 254-2689. 

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