Meet Eleanor (Ella, EllaJo, Little Miss Sunshine)! She is a vibrant, adventurous, and silly five year-old with a huge personality packed into her little being.
Born in February of 2012, Ella spent her first summer surprising us with strange, unexpected fevers, multiple ear infections, and an increasingly heavy sleep schedule. On September 2nd, she stopped nursing and simply couldn’t stay awake. We rushed our little six-month-old to the ER where she was quickly diagnosed with High-Risk Infant Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Over the next few days, we watched helplessly as her tiny little body endured surgery, several scans, a bone marrow biopsy, multiple blood transfusions, and a host of chemotherapy cocktails. She had medicines injected into her spine and administered through an IV. At one point, an IV infiltration left her with a horrible chemical burn on her arm.
Little Miss Sunshine’s treatments were harsh on her tiny little body, but they had to be in order to save her life. Some of these life-saving medicines come with the potential for serious side effects. In addition to hoping that Ella beats the odds against a possible relapse of leukemia, we will need to monitor her heart’s health and watch for secondary cancers for the rest of her life.
Today, Ella is much like she was in the first few months of her life: she has a bright, sunny personality that lights up any room she’s in. The first month of her treatment, however, was as big and grey a cloud as there ever has been. While she was fighting for her life, she stopped sitting up, rolling over, cooing. She ignored her toys and showed no interest in moving and crawling. Her smile disappeared and stayed away. The day that it came back was amazing – we began to see what a courageous and determined fighter our daughter is, and we saw that Eleanor’s future would be a bright one.
When Eleanor was diagnosed, we spent a lot of time researching her cancer and learning how we could best help her fight. We were shocked to find that there was only one specific treatment that would help her. We were also shocked to discover that of all of the National Cancer Institute’s research funds, only 4% went towards pediatric cancer research! Four cents of every research dollar spent to research every one of the myriad cancers that children can be forced to fight against.
THIS was the push that we needed to start our own action. While our doctors did everything they could for Ella, we cared for our daughter and made her hospital room our base of operations while we started to look for new treatment options for Eleanor and everyone like her: babies just starting their journey in the world, fighting for their lives in the present and facing a lifetime of uncertainty in the future.
We started this fund hoping to share Eleanor’s bright sunshine and her infectious love of life. Researchers and doctors are making significant advances in treating ALL right now, but there is still much to do. Our hope is that money raised through Ella’s Hero Fund will help develop new therapies to treat and target infant leukemia.
Today, Ella plays T-ball, is in love with her gymnastics class and enjoys learning new music on her cello. She is always singing, dancing and wiggling around – it’s easy to pick her spunky voice out in a crowded room (it’s one of a kind full of life and love – just like her). She loves to paint, she loves her books and her kitty cats. She is absorbing the world around her and embracing all things beautiful. She has started Kindergarten this fall, something she has been wishing for, for a very long time. She loves her big brother, playing and being super silly with him.
We are so lucky to still be able to bask in her light. After five long years, we know that her medicines have done their work and have given us time with her. She is in remission. Please join our fight – Eleanor’s fight – to help children in their battle against cancer and the life-long side effects that will cast shadows on the lives of those who have survived. Fight Ella, fight!
About Me - Eleanor
Birthday- February 17th
Who do I live with? My parents, my big brother Benjamin, and my cute kitty cats Maggie and Sparkles.
Where do I live? I live in Fredonia, NY.
Favorite Colors – Red and Green
Favorite Animal – Elephant (it starts with the letter E)
School – Kindergarten!!!!
Favorite Food – Peas, strawberries and pizza
Favorite Book – Rosie Revere, Engineer
Favorite Movie – Inside Out & Trolls
Favorite TV Show – The Wiggles
What I want to be when I grow up – Scientist and a Mermaid
Favorite Activity – Music class and board games
Favorite Sport – T-ball and Gymnastics
Donations given to the Ella's Love Heals A.L.L. Fund go directly to the St. Baldrick’s Foundation to fund lifesaving childhood cancer research around the world. The Foundation is guided by a Scientific Advisory Committee, comprised of leading experts in the childhood cancer community, to ensure that every dollar makes the greatest impact for kids with cancer.
These people make us smile - they’re the doers and money-raisers on behalf of Ella's Love Heals A.L.L. They’re shaving their heads, hosting events, starting fundraisers and more to make childhood cancer research possible.
Start your own St. Baldrick’s head-shaving event to raise money on behalf of our Hero Fund! You’ll be paired with a staff member who will walk you through every step of the process, and you’ll have fun knowing you’re doing a great thing for kids with cancer.
Register to shave your head and raise money for our Hero Fund at any St. Baldrick’s event happening around the world! Not finding an event near you? Register as a virtual shavee and shave your head anytime, anywhere.