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Teen battling cancer fights for fair treatment

8:07 PM, Nov 12, 2012   |    comments
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She's a normal girl. She likes to laugh and have fun. A normal girl who just so happens to have been dealt a tough hand.

Olivia Current was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago when she was 16 years old.

Since then, she's gone through chemotherapy. She has lost her hair four times and has spent months at a time in the hospital.

One year ago, she had a bone marrow transplant which saved her life but didn't make her life easy.

"It's difficult," Olivia said. "I have ports in all of my body that basically runs to my heart."

Olivia spends three days a week at Children's Hospital. She needs dialysis for two hours each day.

And among other things, she has to wear a surgical mask everywhere she goes. 

"They think I'm the contagious one but really everyone is contagious to me," Olivia said. "I drew a ribbon on [the mask.] I put 'survivor' on it. I had to do something."

She had to do something because of the way people were treating her.

"You feel they don't want you in their store or they don't want to wait on you. They say mean things, whisper and giggle behind my back," Olivia explained. "I know I look stupid, but I can't help it. I don't want to go back to the hospital."

Olivia was kicked out of a gas station last week.

"The guy was scared of my mask. I had to leave," she said. "That just really threw me over the edge."

And that's why she decided to share her story.

"If people understood what was going on, they wouldn't be acting like that," Olivia said. "We're nice people. We've gone through a lot. We don't want to bother you. We just want to do our thing and leave."

Olivia hopes for those who see her story, they remember to be more open-minded and compassionate.

"It's such an accomplishment and for people to be rude about it," she said. "I'm proud of myself and you should be proud of me, not scared of me."

Olivia is cancer free now. She will have to continue wearing a mask for several more months and continue dialysis for some time.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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