Fast on the heels of our last room this past weekend we getting ready to do one of our My Happy Place Bedrooms for a darling of girl, Ellory! Here is Ellory’s bio her mom Joy sent in to us to tell a bit of the story:
This is Ellory. Ellory is such an amazing and enjoyable young lady to be around. She has an amazing sense of humor that tends just a touch to the dark side. She is quick with a joke, a clever comeback or a splash of sarcasm. Ellory is wise beyond her years and is both highly empathetic and delightfully direct. She loves animals, true crime, and being her littlest brother’s favorite person in the universe.
Ellory has been courageously facing Leukemia since December of 2013. She was diagnosed shortly after her 8th birthday. Her treatment lasted 2.5 years and her entire elementary school celebrated with her at the end of fourth grade with a big orange-themed party, a live band, and a flash mob performance of “Fight Song” that brought us all to tears. Her hair grew back dark and curly and the biggest challenge for a while was learning how to manage curls! Sixteen months later, just two days after she started 6th grade, routine blood work revealed that she had relapsed. She endured another 2 years of treatment, missing out on most of her sixth grade year. Again we celebrated her completing treatment, this time with a killer leather jacket and an amazing photo shoot. She quickly got back to the business of being a teenager and we were all so grateful that she could enjoy some childhood. However, the journey was not yet over.
Over this whole ordeal, Ellory has developed a very accurate sense of when something is off. So, when she started to get nervous just after Thanksgiving last year that her cancer was coming back, we all got worried. Her early December blood work all looked fine and we figured we were all just a little over-anxious. Unfortunately her instincts were spot on. She felt strongly that the cancer was coming back and she had increasing pain in her joints that caused her to wince when hitting the slightest bump on a car ride. We don’t dismiss it when Ellory says she is in pain, so we kept pushing to determine the cause of the pain. Within a couple of weeks, her oncology team at Children’s was able to confirm that she had relapsed again by examining her bone marrow. It was 87% cancer cells. The relapse had been detected so early that the cancerous cells had not even reached her blood stream yet, which explained why her blood work was still “normal”. She just knew. She spent Christmas in the hospital once again.
Each relapse means that the chances of long-term remission are a little lower. This time though, there is a whole different approach to treatment. In April, Ellory underwent a treatment called Car T-cell therapy. This is a cutting edge approach that has been successful in treating Leukemia after multiple relapses. Basically her immune system has been reprogrammed at the genetic level to find and kill the cancer cells in her blood. So far she has responded really well and it’s working! There is still a lot of monitoring in the months and years ahead to confirm the treatment is still working, but Ellory now gets to turn her attention to learning to drive, like her peers.
Thanks for sharing her story with us!
Courageous, cute and dang that cancer! Let’s all get excited for this room to happen fo her! We are seeking donations and volunteers for this room to be done June 4th and 5th! Right around the corner! Ellory had her fairly extensive hospital stay which needed to push this room out a bit on the calendar to surprise her, but now she is ready to be home in a brand new happy place.
If Ellory’s story touches your heart would you consider making a donation in her name on our website through our paypal donor button? We are in need of items yet to make this room amazing for her.