Students inspired to be kind in honor of young classmate who had cancer

Toni Yates Image
Friday, February 21, 2020
Students inspired to be kind in honor of student who had cancer
Toni Yates reports from Freehold.

FREEHOLD, New Jersey (WABC) -- Those who never met Olivia Lipnicky may one day be gifted with the goodness that she left as a legacy with her classmates - and of course, her little brother, Jack.

"What Olivia had was something called 'diffuse midline glioma,' unfortunately with this type of cancer, there is zero treatment option, and the normal life span is nine months from diagnosis," said her mother, Emma.

Olivia's prognosis put her on a new path.

"This past summer when she was battling cancer, she decided to raise funds for pediatric cancer research, and her thing was being the good," her mother added.

Being kind and beyond has been a mission at Joseph J. Catena Elementary School in Freehold. It was ramped up even more in memory of Olivia.

"To see a child of just eight years old share her light and kindness as she was fighting like a unicorn," said Principal Traci Shaw.

This week, on the 19th, Olivia would have turned nine. These kids are celebrating her friendship - they perform acts of kindness every day by sharing encouragement notes, and by holding friendly competitions to raise money for Olivia's cause, 'Liv Like a Unicorn,' funding research for childhood cancer.

"The amount of empathy and compassion she had at such a young age was something that I've never seen before," her mom adds.


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