‘She saved my life, and she knows that’- Olivia Newton-John fan’s heartwarming story

Private memories of Olivia Newton-John reveal a person who made in difference in many people's lives. Picture: Facebook.
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Fans and friends recall their favourite things about Olivia and the impact she had on their lives. Jennifer Pittorino reports.

For 22-year-old Megan Sloane, Olivia Newton-John came into her life at exactly the right moment.

“My grandmother passed away of cancer in 2014 when I was only 14, I didn’t know how to deal with that properly; I started self-harming. I was on anti-depressants and during that time was when I found her,” she said.

“She was able to drag me out of that negative headspace with her bubbly personality, she made me want to change my outlook on life.”

Olivia Newton-John was not only a singer, actress and activist – to her fans she was so much more. 

Megan says while it was her music that first attracted her, it was Olivia’s personality and her huge heart that made her a superfan.

'She saved my life, and she knows that'- Olivia Newton-John fan's heartwarming story
Olivia Newton John with Megan Sloane. Picture: supplied.

Megan shares a similar fan origin story to long-time friend of Olivia, Randy Slovacek. 

It was 1972 when a then nine-year-old Randy heard her first single Till You Say You’ll Be Mine, and that was all it took to become a fan.

Randy says this was a time before music videos, where you enjoyed listening to the music rather than watching the artist. 

“I would play her records – they were so singable, so relatable – and she was this pretty, blonde, very open and approachable-looking person and she seemed very grounded, and it was very appealing to me. I thought I could relate to this person.”

Fast-forward to 1998 when Randy’s husband Michael Caprio [also a superfan from adolescence] became her publicist.

'She saved my life, and she knows that'- Olivia Newton-John fan's heartwarming story
Michael Caprio and Randy Slovacek with Olivia Newton-John and her husband, John Easterling, at the couple’s vow renewal ceremony. Picture: supplied

Randy – now 59 and living in Las Vegas – says that over the past 24 years he built a friendship with Olivia that he describes as the best gift. 

“I went through cancer myself in 2009 – she was the first person to call me and she either called or texted me every day to check how I was.”

“She was my guardian angel through the whole thing.”

Olivia was undeniably a superhero for cancer-sufferers, helping physically through her Cancer, Wellness & Research Centre in Melbourne, and mentally through her powerful music and personality.

Megan tells the story behind her tattoo, which was inspired by Olivia. It reads, “Not going to give in” with Olivia’s initials ONJ.

“The meaning behind the tattoo was to try and cover up some of those scars because I knew if I had a nice tattoo there, I wouldn’t want to do that again,” says Megan.

“I am so lucky I had the chance to meet her and tell her about the meaning behind it.”

'She saved my life, and she knows that'- Olivia Newton-John fan's heartwarming story
Michael Caprio and Randy Slovacek with Olivia Newton-John. Picture: supplied

Megan says she met her idol at a small meet-and-greet in Ireland and it was everything she hoped for.

“Olivia is and was exactly what you would think and so much more.”

“They say never meet your idol because you’ll only be disappointed – that was not the case with Olivia whatsoever, she is even sweeter than what her image portrayed.”

Randy says what he and his husband will miss the most about Olivia is her laugh.

“If you knew her, you would know why – it was such an authentic, joyous laugh – it had a spark to it and if she laughed, you laughed.”

We will listen to her music and reminisce, we will miss her smile and remember fun times with her, but her laugh is the thing that we will miss most – so bright and energetic.

Randy and his husband met when at a recording studio where he says they fell in love at first sight. When they renewed their vows in 2018, they were lucky enough to have Olivia lead the ceremony. 

She also sang a snippet of Some Enchanted Evening which was a personal ode to the couple.

Randy said his friend was “the greatest champion of friendship and love and loyalty.”

Megan, along with a group of fans, sent Olivia a video showing their appreciation and support for her on the 30th anniversary of her first cancer diagnosis.

A few days later Megan received an email saying Olivia loved the video, and attached was a personal voice recording from her.


https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/740939512

This is a link to Megan’s recording of Olivia’s message to her.


Randy says that it is important that fans understand that Olivia did all she could.

“She handled everything – especially the recurrence of cancer so bravely, it was so ‘Olivia’.”

“I am eternally grateful that it happened, her friendship, her laugh, her music, her smile, all of that was such a gift to me, I’m just going to remember her as the last time I saw her.”

“Despite this being one of the hardest weeks of my life I am personally happy that the difficult part of her journey is over, she did what she could, and she was so strong, and I am thankful that if it wasn’t going to get better, then I am glad that it’s over.”

Randy carries on her legacy with the Facebook group he founded 12 years ago called Official Olivia Newton-John Facebook Group, which has 71,000 members.

Megan also has a Facebook group called Love and Light Olivia and an Instagram account ONJ Quotes, which she runs.