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Book written by Charlotte area girl battling cancer turned into a song

Olivia and Bradleigh Reardon's book about llamas and unicorns is put to music by "Sing me a story."

MATTHEWS, N.C. — A year ago, Olivia Reardon was sitting around the kitchen table when her parents noticed her eye was swelling. 

"I had a mass about the size of a golf ball in my eye," the 10-year-old told WCNC Charlotte

It turned out to be stage 4 cancer.

Olivia's mom, Christina Meyers, said they sat her down for an honest conversation.

Meyers recalled telling her daughter, "You're going to have to fight this. And there's going to be hard days. We don't understand why this happened but we have to trust that God has a plan."

Battling cancer would entail 66 weeks of chemotherapy and 28 rounds of radiation.

Reardon, who was born 10 weeks premature and had two heart surgeries by the time she was six years old, said her positive attitude has helped get her through some tough days. She said her recent scans are encouraging.

She said, "Now there's nothing there. So, we just have to do the rest of the chemotherapy so it doesn't come back."

Things have been looking up. Olivia and her family served as Grand Marshals in last week's Novant Health Thanksgiving Eve parade.

A few months ago, Quility Insurance in partnership with Make a Wish, approached the family to see if they would be interested in becoming involved with Sing me a story.

Meyers explained, "I think the best thing with "Sing me a Story" is, the kids don't need to talk about their illness. It is truly a story of whatever they want to tell, as wild as their imagination can run. And then they turn it into a song."

Olivia and her younger sister, Bradleigh, wrote a book about what they love.

The 10-year-old said, "Our book was about llamas and unicorns on the beach."

Crystal Bowersox, a singer-songwriter, ended up writing "Llama and Unicorn Heaven" for the girls. The former American Idol contestant also performed it for them in person at their Matthews home. The girls loved it.

The girls' father, Kevin Reardon, said, "The girls absolutely love the song. For a while there, it was played in the house 50 times a day."

Olivia has about 17 more weeks of chemo left.

She said right after her last treatment, the plan is for the family to spend some time in Myrtle Beach.

To learn more about Olivia's type of cancer and to see how the Olivia Strong Foundation has given back to St. Jude Children's Hospital and Novant Health, click here.

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