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A Charlotte area girl’s book inspired by her battle with cancer is now a song.  Ten-year old Olivia Reardon’s life changed a year ago.  According to WCNC, that’s when her mother noticed her eye swelling.  And, doctors later diagnosed the golf ball sized mass as stage 4 cancer.  Olivia, who was born 10 weeks premature, has always had a positive attitude.  That inner strength helped her through two heart surgeries by the time she reached age six.  So, her mother prepared her for another fight.  This time, the fight involved 66 rounds of chemotherapy and 28 rounds of radiation.  Then, recently, Make A Wish asked if the family wanted to be a part of “Sing Me A Story.”  The mission of the project is to partner with organizations and songwriters to bring stories of children to life.  The hope is the experience helps in healing and raises awareness and financial aid for non-profits.

Olivia’s mother says “Sing Me A Story” encourages the kids to write about anything they want.  And, the best thing is they don’t need to talk about their illness.  The kids use their imaginations, and “Sing Me A Story” turns it into a song.  Olivia teamed up with her younger sister, Bradleigh, and wrote about llamas and unicorns on the beach.  After all, that’s what they love.  And, you may recognize the name Crystal Bowersox from American Idol.  Bowersox was tasked with bringing the girls’ story to life in song.  So, she wrote “Llama and Unicorn Heaven” and performed it for them right in their Matthews home.  Of course, the girls loved it.

Recently, the family served as Grand Marshals in Novant Health’s Thanksgiving Eve parade.  And, they plan to travel to Myrtle Beach when Olivia completes the chemo treatments.  You’ll find more information about the Olivia Strong Foundation here.  The foundation gives back to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Novant Health.


List: Top North Carolina Hospitals According To US News

No one wants to go to the hospital. But when you do you want the best care from exceptional physicians. But how do you determine the top North Carolina hospitals?One well-respected measurement of hospital quality of care in US News and World Report. Today they released their 2022-2023 rankings for the Top Hospitals in the nation as well as regionally in North Carolina.

Here’s how they decided on this list: “In 2022-2023 U.S. News Best Hospitals ranked hospitals in the U.S. in 15 adult specialties as well as recognized hospitals by state, metro, and regional areas for their work in 20 more widely performed procedures and conditions. Of the nearly 5,000 hospitals analyzed and 30,000 physicians surveyed, only 164 hospitals ranked in at least one of the specialties.”

One Charlotte area hospital came in at number 3 on this list. Several surrounding area institutions were also recognized. You can get the full national breakdown here. You can also see the rankings in specific specialties such as cancer care, cardiology, and others. I hope you and your family do not need any sort of care in the immediate future, but if you do it’s good to be informed! Read on for the top North Carolina hospitals according to US News.