Olivia Lannoo

With that golden hair, those piercing blue eyes and the warmest smile you can feel even from just a picture, our NMO community feels a tremendous loss this week. Olivia Lannoo was just 21 years old. She should have, could have, would have been, continued to be a force to reckon with in our world.

It’s unfair, we’re all angry, there are no words to describe our sadness and for all of us still facing another day with neuromyelitis optica we’re all also scared. We do our best to go about our everyday – our families, our careers, our hobbies – until our bodies force us to take a break, we relapse, we have that rituxan and neuro appointment – and we’re reminded that we’re actually sick, some of us more than others, but that’s just today. We don’t know how NMO will affect us tomorrow. Then we fight damn hard because what other choice do we have?

When we lose a beautiful and positive soul like Olivia we’re reminded that it could be us next, which is what makes NMO and its ugly unknown head so scary.

This is exactly why we are all in this together.

Olivia loved laughter and her large and ever growing circle of friends. She had plans to become an occupational therapist. Olivia and her family did exactly what we are all trying to do – live life to its fullest, not let this disease become who we are but instead acknowledge it is part of us now and find a way to move forward.

It seems so selfish to focus on tomorrow but that’s how we can honour Olivia. Reach out and be there for another patient. Finally make plans for that activity you’ve always wanted to do. Educate those unfamiliar with NMO. Advocate for our cause, our cure, for ourselves and for each other.

Olivia, we know you’ll find the rest you so needed. You will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts. To your family who will always be part of our family, know that our hearts are all broken with you. RIP Olivia.



May 2017



One Comment

  1. I am heart broken. We are all at a loss for words but you did wonderful writing this. I’m sure her family and the friends of those of us who aren’t glready to talk about it will highly appreciate this. Sending love your way

    Comment by Niamh wedlake on May 26, 2017 at 9:51 pm

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