For Bo

Bo Oliver at 15. Seven months before diagnosis.

Bo Oliver was an incredible person - son, brother, fiancé, nephew, cousin, grandson, friend, musician and all around human being. He was diagnosed with Ewings 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 such as supplements and other therapies he received in conjunction with the traditional regimen.

Bo playing piano at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Center

Bo playing piano at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Center

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 'mainstream' 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, the traditional treatments of the previous 3 years had done too much damage to his system. On June 1, 2016, Bo lost the toughest battle of his life.  He faced the disease with a resilience, strength and faith that was awe inspiring.

The iconic "Red Handed Bass"

The iconic "Red Handed Bass"

Music was a core part of Bo’s being his whole life, it served as a wonderful therapy for him throughout this journey. Bo 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 battle 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 would. 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.”

Bo was always an old soul. He had an amazing connection to God at an early age that stayed with him throughout out 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 has become a permanent part of 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.

In honor of Bo, 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.

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