Ellee's brave journey


Even though she felt so ill, St. Jude patient Ellee looked forward to one thing — receiving messages of encouragement and reading them with her mom. 


“When my baby was 5 years old, she woke up in the middle of the night crying in pain — and Ellee’s not my crier. Nothing took the pain away. When she looked at me and said, ‘Mommy, please help me,’ I knew something was seriously wrong,” remembered Ellee’s mom, Shauna.

Ellee has acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood cancer — but hers is high-risk and harder to treat. The hopeful news is that St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has increased the survival rates for ALL from 4% before opening in 1962 to 94% today.

Ellee is a smart and determined little girl. 

St. Jude patient Ellee with her brother, Hudson and mom, Shauna.

St. Jude patient Ellee with her brother, Hudson, and mom, Shauna.


We haven’t hid her cancer diagnosis from her. I really didn’t have the chance. As soon as we walked through the doors of St. Jude, she recognized the logo. She said, ‘You’ve taken me to the hospital where kids have cancer. Mommy, do I have cancer?'

Shauna, St. Jude patient Ellee's mom

Before Ellee was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, she was raising money for St. Jude, one trike lap at a time.

While receiving chemotherapy at St. Jude, Ellee enjoys visiting the St. Jude mailroom to see if she has any cards from home — and she always does. It’s a great way for her to pass the time between appointments and practice her reading.

“I’m in the best place in the world for my child,” Shauna said.

During her treatment at St. Jude, Ellee has retained her spunk and likes practicing magic tricks. Last year, she pulled a bunny out of a hat for her nurses.

“We can never repay St. Jude for what they have done for our child,” Shauna said.


Help our families focus on their sick child, not medical bills.

When you donate monthly, your gift means families, like Ellee's, never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

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