Childhood Cancer Heroes

You are here

Elliott Ortega

  • Hepatoblastoma

Click the images to see them larger above!

Learn more about
Hepatoblastoma

Get the facts about Hepatoblastoma and how our research projects are making a difference.

Learn More »

Elliott Ortega was diagnosed with two different types of childhood cancer before he was 5 years old. Despite two very serious cancer battles, Elliott has not let anything stop him from smiling every day. Elliott is an amazing child who lights up every room he enters. Like most 4-year olds, Elliott is excited about going to school and seeing his friends. He loves his family and has shown them what it means to be a hero.

Elliott was first diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma, a type of liver cancer, during a routine pediatrician check-up. By 1 p.m. that same day, Elliott was sitting in an oncology office. His treatment for hepatoblastoma included a liver transplant and  six rounds of chemotherapy at UCLA.

Elliott was thriving even while managing a minor hearing loss (a side effect of chemotherapy), when he began having stomach pains, nausea and loss of appetite. The doctor diagnosed him with a GI virus. A month later, at a follow up appointment, Elliot was diagnosed with a secondary type of cancer. This time, Elliott is battling Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia (JMML), a serious chronic cancer of the blood. He is the only known case of being diagnosed with JMML as a secondary cancer.

Elliott went through chemotherapy again, and had a bone marrow transplant in October 2015 at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. He was certainly a hero and handled it amazingly. After 2 months of being away from family and friends he is back home and doing wonderful. He is currently waiting to be fitted for hearing aids and anxious to start school after flu season ends.

Elliott’s mother, Jessica, describes Elliott as their family’s rock. Elliott never resisted taking medications—even when that meant 13 different medications twice a day. Following Elliott’s lead, the Ortega family keeps a positive attitude and never gives up hope for a cancer free life for Elliott.

Update: November 2016 -  This October, Elliott celebrated his 1yr post bone marrow transplant. He continues to be cancer-free and 100% donor.  The doctors are amazed at how well he is doing. He can now begin to get  his immunizations. Labs continue to be good so now the visits to the doctors and labs are less often. As far as his liver cancer/ transplant, he continues to be cancer-free and has showed no signs of rejection for the last four years.. He continues to do well. Elliott s now in Kindergarten and he loves all sports, wants to do martial arts and he will be playing t-ball in spring.

Update: Sadly, Elliott passed away in April 2019. He was 8 years old.

Information provided by Jessica Ortega, Elliott’s Mom
Updated April 2019

Next Hero

Donate in Honor of Elliott Today!

Your donation helps to fund critically-needed research to find better treatments and cures for children with cancer.

Childhood Cancer Heroes

More Heroes

VIEW ALL HEROES
Austin lived an inspirational life. Even after being diagnosed with cancer, he learned to walk again with help from his dad, and made the varsity golf team his freshman year in high school. Today, he continues to inspire others to be better and do more.
As a newborn, Kaleigh had discoloration between her retinas and was taken to doctor after doctor for answers. She was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma, and the only plan was to remove her eyes.
Sara was the kind of kid who lit up a room when she walked in. She had the biggest smile and an even bigger heart. Sadly, Sara passed away due to a complication with her treatment during her fight with germinoma.
Lakelynn was just 3 years old when she was diagnosed with cancer. A rare, inoperable sarcoma was wrapped around the nerves that controlled her arm. Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy were not safe treatment options for Lakelynn.
VIEW ALL HEROES