Olivia, who was declared cancer free in December 2022, developed a fascination for all types of buses while traveling to and from MD Anderson Cancer Center. Olivia and her parents would count the buses they saw and used the activity to help ease Olivia’s mind before her treatments.
“Counting buses was a positive experience for Olivia,” Ashley Wright, Olivia’s aunt and a behavior interventionist at Matzke Elementary School, said. “It was something that took her mind off things, even if it only for a short time.” Knowing Olivia’s newfound love for buses, Wright reached out to Dr. Kayne Smith, CFISD director of transportation, to see if Smith and his team could help Olivia come and see some buses up close.
Dr. Smith said. “When I told my team about Olivia coming to visit, everybody was on board, and everyone helped however they could.” Dr. Smith gave Olivia a tour of the Westgreen Transportation Center before riding different types of buses.
Olivia and her family arrived at the Westgreen Transportation Center with a homemade bus ticket in hand. Olivia gave the ticket to Dr. Smith, who gladly accepted. Dr. Smith and his team decorated the center with pink balloons, a pink tablecloth and even set out Olivia’s favorite candy, Hershey’s Kisses. The transportation team also put Olivia’s name on all the video boards throughout the center and gifted her a new tricycle and backpack. Olivia rode three different types of buses during her visit–a conventional school bus, a flat nose school bus and a smaller white bus, which is used for special programs.
Dr. Smith said, “A lot of kids have fascinations with buses, and you could tell Olivia was totally into the experience. This was one of the most rewarding days of my career. It was a great day.”