LAHAINA - A 7-year-old girl, who was the subject of a Maui News editorial in March 2011, has lost her battle against brain cancer.
Olivia Bianco died June 20 after a 16-month fight for her life against medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer.
She attended Children of the Rainbow Preschool, then King Kamehameha III Elementary School and was a Lahaina Chiefs cheerleader on the tiny mite squad.
Loses battle to brain cancer
She is survived by her father, Alex, her mother, Momoko, her sister, Julia, and her brother, A.J.
After Olivia's diagnosis in February 2011, the family moved to Santa Clara, Calif., for four months for treatment. Once back on Maui, she was showing signs of improvement, learning to talk and swallow again and was able to use her arms and legs.
There was more treatment in Houston. When she returned to Maui, Olivia was able to go to the beach, hang out with her best friend and go shopping.
In February, Olivia had another MRI that showed that the cancer had spread. No further treatment would help.
So, her parents moved forward with plans to enjoy the time left. Olivia was granted a Make-A-Wish trip to the Disney Aulani Resort on Oahu, where she was given the royal treatment and a cheer from the Hawaii Pacific University cheer squad. She got to meet and pray with Mickey, Minnie and Goofy.
They were able to celebrate her seventh birthday with family and friends. Olivia was named Honorary Prom Queen at Lahainaluna's Junior Prom.
"Alex and Momoko would like to thank everyone for their incredible and never-ending support during this time," said a news release about Olivia's passing. "Without this support, we wouldn't have been able to spend this special time with our daughter. We were able to create some special memories we will never forget. We are humbled at the generosity of the community and strangers, we have never met."
A celebration of Olivia's life will be held at her favorite place, the beachfront of the Lahaina Jodo Mission, at 1 p.m. Saturday. Those attending should bring beach chairs, mats, surfboards, boogie boards, and food and beverages to spend the afternoon.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to Friends of Olivia Bianco, P.O. Box 12661, Lahaina 96761.