Olivia King – Cancer Warrior
This month’s Cancer Warrior is Olivia King, a 30-year-old woman who was born and raised in Augusta, Georgia with deep-seated love for UGA throughout the family. Olivia graduated from the University of Georgia in 2015 and is stoked that UGA is currently back-to-back national champions in football! Olivia enjoys making custom sneakers in her spare time and loves spending time with family, friends, her girlfriend and their two adorable cats.
While living in Georgia, Olivia discovered her passion for athletic training and has been working with athletes on the high school and collegiate levels for nine years. Currently, Olivia is working as a Certified Athletic Trainer at Quinnipiac University for the women’s soccer and lacrosse teams.
Growing up, Olivia would go to the women’s health doctor with her mother annually, and it became a routine for them. In 2021, Olivia moved to a rural city in New York and put her annual screenings on the back burner, due to not having accessible healthcare. Later, she moved to Connecticut but still struggled to find any women’s doctors with availability. After many months of searching for a doctor, Olivia learned that she had a tumor in her breast tissue and was diagnosed with cancer a week later.
The diagnosis was a complete shock. Olivia had no idea she had breast cancer. There were no signs. The only reason she got screened was due to her mom’s diligent screenings, and Olivia felt she should do the same. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years prior, but it wasn’t hereditary, so Olivia thought she was in the clear.
Olivia’s cancer journey is still in progress, and she’s halfway through her six chemo treatments. Following the chemo, Olivia will undergo a mastectomy and reconstruction. After she has time to heal, radiation treatments will begin and are projected to be complete by the summer of 2024.
When we spoke with Olivia on the phone, she said, “If I didn’t go to that doctor’s appointment and caught my cancer when I did, the outcome wouldn’t have been as optimistic of a diagnosis with my treatment.” She continues to mention how well colleges and universities stay in front of students to prioritize their health, but when they graduate, young people put their health out of their minds and don’t prioritize regular physicals and screenings. Most thirty-year-olds don’t see themselves getting cancer as a possibility.
Olivia is very passionate about helping others and making sure young women are getting screened. If you are a coach reading this, and you’d like Olivia to speak with your athletes, she is more than willing to share her story. You can email her here.
Lastly, we wanted to end today’s post with this quote from Olivia – “If I have the ability to even help one person get diagnosed sooner because they make an appointment, then I will take the burden of my cancer to help someone else.” Thanks, Olivia, for sharing your journey and impacting so many young women along the way. As Coach Yow said, “We have little or no control over what happens to us in life, but we have 100% control over how we will respond.”