SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) –The effects of an illness can put a strain on your body and your mind. Olivia Anderson has been facing health challenges this past year and now she wants to use her story to highlight the importance of mental health when healing.
When last we spoke, Olivia Anderson was on the mend from multiple surgeries from her brain and breast cancer.
“I felt I was ready for life, I felt like I could take on any challenge that came my way, I felt nothing was impossible,” Anderson said.
But in July she had to return to the hospital to treat the inoperable tumor in her brain.
“When I went back to the hospital, it pushed me backwards. I had to use a walker which I had never done before so that just lowered my self-esteem and it made me feel really… like I was just taking up space here, not useful enough for me or anyone else,” Anderson said.
As a result of the treatment, she has limited mobility and requires more care assistance. Over the next few months, she began battling thoughts of depression and suicide.
“Something kept telling me, you’re not worth it, you’ve been suffering too much, so just take your life, you’re not going to get better,” Anderson said.
After seeking treatment for her mental health Anderson began reaching out to close friends for support.
“When you’re willing to walk into somebody’s battleground with them, I think that’s how a bond is strengthened,” said Monica Kalacinski, friend.
Anderson says she realizes she is more than her illness and wants to use her story to encourage others to speak up and seek help for their mental health.
“If someone has 30 seconds out of their time to give you, and you don’t have anyone else to give that to you, it means a lot to you, because you had someone who was willing to spend 30 seconds out of their day with you,” Anderson said.
Kalacinski has created a Go Fund Me for Olivia in the hopes of easing financial burdens you can find that link here.