Sadly, Olivia lost her battle with addiction on August 24, 2017, at the age of 31. Like so many others, she didn't fit the profile of an "addict". She did, however, carry the weight of the stigma that comes along with identifying as one. It took us (her family) a long time to realize she wasn't suffering from a bad habit, but rather a relentless, chronic, and progressive disease.
Olivia was our last child and only daughter. Her three delightful older brothers and her dad and I were "over the moon" happy to have her.What a beautiful, artistic, athletic, and kind little girl she was. "Livs" attended a French Immersion School for eight years, and became fluent in French, though was a bit too shy to be of much help on a family trip to France. Olivia's college years found her experiencing an array of health problems, including pancreatitis, liver disease, and kidney failure...all of which required many hospitalizations and pain meds.
We watched helplessly as our daughter suffered with both alcohol and opioid addictions. Though she was in several re-hab facilities, any progress was inevitably interrupted by the hospitalizations. This vicious cycle repeated itself. I only hope Olivia knows how very loved and precious she was to us. It was a privilege caring for her, and we miss her beyond words. I always told myself that the worst thing would be to lose one of my children. I was right.
We’re now committed to honoring her memory by making sure we do everything we can to help call attention to what has become a nationwide epidemic. More importantly, we want to help humanize addiction in a way that starts to replace fear and judgment with understanding and compassion. Thank you to Shatterproof for providing the platform.
Stephanie Colvin (Olivia's mom)
P.S. She helped me write this