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Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
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Ellie is incredibly smart, brave, funny and creative. She is almost 10 years old and loves to make slime, play Roblox and Sims, spend time with her friends and to read anything she can get her hands on (especially about medicine and science). Ellie loves all science experiments (the messier the better!) and is always looking to try anything new and exciting!
Ellie was diagnosed with Pre-B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) when she was 5 years old. Ellie seemed to have a virus she just couldn't shake. She'd had strep twice in the month before, so her family thought it was just taking her a while to bounce back, or that maybe she had mono. Then she began getting fevers at night, stomach pain (which turned out later to have been her spleen), fatigue, loss of appetite and elbow pain. She had blood work, an elbow x-ray and finally an abdominal ultrasound, which led to the diagnosis in December 2014.
Ellie went straight to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and stayed there for two weeks. Her cancer was treated with steroids, IV chemo, oral chemotherapy and lots of spinal taps. Unfortunately Ellie had bad reactions to the medications they used to do conscious sedation, so she had to go under general anesthesia each time. Ellie's treatment lasted 2 and 1/2 years and she dealt with chemo side effects throughout. She and her family learned that they sometimes had to get through cancer treatment by focusing on one day, or even one hour, at a time. It helped them all to look for small moments of fun, humor, silliness and happiness along the way.
Ellie has now been off treatment for almost two years! She is enjoying 4th grade, being a Girl Scout and is learning to play the trumpet. Ellie has regular oncology appointments where she is watched closely for any signs of illness and for long-term side effects from treatment. Ellie's family is ecstatic that she has come this far, and can't wait to see her grow up to become the scientist or doctor she wants to be!
Hero Quote: “It's nobody's fault if you get cancer. And having cancer stinks. But sometimes good things still happen."
Information provided by Miriam Matz, Ellie’s mom
Updated January 2019
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