The Oliver family
The Oliver family

Bo Oliver was an incredible person – son, brother, fiancé, nephew, cousin, grandson, friend, musician and all-around human being. He was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare pediatric bone cancer, in March of 2012 while a sophomore in high school. Bo’s initial course of treatment included 7 months of intense chemotherapy, radiation, and then a stem cell transplant, to which his body’s response was very positive. We believed this positive response was the result of the holistic supportive treatments he received in conjunction with the traditional regimen.

In March, 2014, the cancer returned once again. This time, a donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) was recommended and performed requiring him to temporarily stop some of the supportive therapies that had been helping him so much. In May of 2015, we were told by our doctors that they had no further options to help Bo. At that point, Bo’s entire treatment regimen was converted to 100% holistic.  We saw significant reduction in the size of Bo’s tumors as a result of his holistic treatments. Unfortunately, his body was battered by the disease and the traditional treatments. On June 1, 2016, Bo lost the toughest journey of his life. He faced the disease with a resilience, strength and faith that was awe inspiring.

Bo Oliver's "Red-Handed" bass
Red-Handed Bass

Music was a core part of Bo’s being his whole life. Music served as a wonderful therapy for Bo throughout this journey. He was an accomplished musician and luthier, a craftsman of guitars, who completed several restoration projects. His first restoration was the now iconic “Red Handed Bass” that is integrated into the BoStrong Foundation logo.

Bo’s own words describes the power of music best:

“What I really needed was something that would relax me. Something that would pass the time and ease the horrible and terrifying journey that I had with cancer. I knew it! My guitar. Every second I was on the inpatient floor I was playing my guitar. I truly believe that the guitar made me feel better. Music has such a way of relaxing you. I know for me I get sucked into my playing. I’m in a different world. Whether I’m on stage with my band or in a dinky hospital bed with my amp plugged in next to me playing for my family and the nurses along with anyone else that wanted to hear. Music is a medicine that did more for me than chemo ever did. Chemo wasn’t there to take away the stress of having cancer and it certainly didn’t make my time in the hospital enjoyable. Music made that experience bearable.”

A water color painting

Bo was always an old soul. He had an amazing connection to God at an early age that stayed with him throughout his life. He saw things in black and white and had a clear idea of right and wrong. He loved his sister Rachel and looked out for her at all times. His world was brightened by his fiancé, Bailey, who will always have a place in this family. We love Bo with all that we are and our world was a better place with him in it. We will see you again.

One of the last things that Bo made us promise was that we do whatever we can to make sure that no other child had to fight through this journey. So, in honor of him, we want to provide young adults and their families with holistic treatment options as a therapy in and of itself or, in conjunction with mainstream treatments. We will offer support and encouragement to these families as they navigate this difficult journey. Bo would want to share his love of music with those who would benefit most from its healing properties.