St. Jude patient Ellee, blood cancer

A spunky supporter

Before Ellee and her family found themselves at St. Jude, she was raising money, one lap at a time, for kids just like her.

 

When Ellee was in preschool, she rode 100 laps during the St. Jude Trike-A-Thon at her Virginia school to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

“My determined Ellee,” said her mother, Shauna. Ellee rode so many laps on her trike — even more than the big kids — because her mother told her that she was riding to help sick children.

But when Ellee was 6 years old, her family was devastated to learn that their own little girl had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a type of blood cancer and the most common form of childhood cancer. Local doctors referred Ellee to St. Jude.

 

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

Ellee remembered what she had learned about the special hospital for kids who had cancer. 

“As soon as we walked through the doors of St. Jude, she recognized the logo,” her mother said. “She said, ‘You’ve taken me to the wrong hospital. You’ve taken me to the hospital where kids have cancer. Mommy, do I have cancer?’”

Ellee has a very high-risk form of ALL called Philadelphia chromosome-positive ALL, which is much more difficult to treat than other subtypes of the disease. But St. Jude has helped increase the survival rate for ALL from 4% when the hospital opened in 1962 to 94% today. This fact gives her family hope. Ellee’s treatment will last two-and-a-half years.

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

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

“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. She recently pulled a bunny out of a hat for her nurses.

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

Established in 1983, the St. Jude Trike-A-Thon has raised $150 million for the kids of St. Jude since its inception. Learn more about hosting a St. Jude Trike-A-Thon event in your preschool, daycare or community.

 

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