“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 had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood cancer — but hers was high-risk and harder to treat.
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.
“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?’”
While receiving chemotherapy at St. Jude, Ellee enjoyed visiting the St. Jude mailroom to see if she had any cards from home — and she always did. It was 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.
During her treatment at St. Jude, Ellee retained her spunk and liked practicing magic tricks, even pulling 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.