Meet Ellie: 2020 Family Advocacy Week Champion
Ellie is participating in Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Week from August 10-14, 2020. Through this special event, Ellie and her family will share information about her health journey, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital’s role in providing Ellie with necessary health care services, and why the public and our elected officials must invest in the future of kids like Ellie.
Ellie was first seen at a walk-in clinic, where the physician’s assistant had a hunch it might be leukemia. From there, Ellie and her parents were immediately sent to the ER at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida.
The official diagnosis was B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Ellie was admitted to the hospital immediately and transferred to the pediatric oncology floor.
“The resources available to Ellie and her sisters were invaluable during the many, many visits,” says Jaclyn, Ellie’s mother. “Everyone we encountered was trained on how to interact with children. Each of those people made all of the difference during an extremely difficult time.”
When she was 2 and a half years old, she stayed at St. Joseph’s for almost two weeks. Over the next nine months, Ellie visited the hospital anywhere from one to three times a week, with visits and treatment decreasing as the status of her leukemia improved.
“While being treated at a children's hospital, surrounded by other children, Ellie felt less alone,” says Jaclyn. “I also feel that this had an impact on her sisters as they were able to see other sick children; Ellie was not the only child needing frequent hospital visits.”
Today, Ellie is in remission after completing 26 months of chemotherapy in 2018. Ellie loves anything theatrical, animals, Lego sets, rollerblading, and riding on her scooter.