Happy and easy-going toddler Ellen is always trying to make everyone laugh. The clown of the house, she’s especially close to her big sister Lucy, who’s just 17 months older than her. But in January 2018 after a series of visits to the doctor with tummy pains, she was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma.
Brave Ellen started chemotherapy within days and since then has had 8 cycles with tough side-effects, surgery to remove the tumour, plus sepsis and fluid on her lungs. She still has to complete more high dose chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, radiotherapy and hopefully 6 months of antibody treatment. Claire adds: “We’re so grateful to all of Ellen’s doctors and nurses and all the other staff at the hospital who’re all working so hard to try to rid her of this horrible disease. If we’re fortunate enough to get Ellen into remission at the end of her treatment, then we hope to do everything we can to try to stop this cancer from returning. We just want to give her the best chance possible to grow up and have a normal childhood again.”
Mum Claire says: “I will never forget the moment the radiologist said that she wasn’t happy with the scan. That was the moment when our lives changed forever. We were devastated.”
She faces an uncertain future - in around 40-50% of children with high-risk neuroblastoma the cancer comes back and of those children fewer than 1 in 10 will survive. So, Ellen’s family are fundraising in case they need to access treatment or clinical trials not available through the NHS.