Ellie

 

Ellie and her twin sister Grace were born on Halloween 2001. They were soul mates and were busy being the dynamic duo at age six. Ellie was perfectly happy, energetic, tanned and appeared healthy... except for a dull ache that had started in her leg. This was dismissed as growing pains. On July 2, 2008, her mother found a lump on Ellie's left pelvic area. She was soon after diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma*, stage 4. The tumor was in her pelvis pressing on the leg nerves, and had metastasized to her lungs. Ellie had a 40% chance of survival; unfortunately, there has been no progress on treatment, and the protocol for her cancer is 30 years old. Ellie began her cancer treatment on Saturday, July 5th. She had completed 30 straight days of radiation to her lungs and abdomen by end of October 2008. Ellie completed a total of 42 rounds of Chemo and 10 rounds of radiation by May 2009. She had inspired many as she beat cancer into remission.

Sadly, less than 3 months later, Ellie relapsed and was back where we began with tumors in her lungs and the same tumor in her abdomen growing again. Ellie was given only 3 options of chemo protocols... each had survival odds of 20% . The Oncologists never believed these treatment options would cure the cancer. The hope was to shrink the tumors... extending her life on earth. Ellie wanted to continue the fight... she chose life. But, Ellie's 2nd and 3rd chemotherapy treatments failed between October and December of 2009. On December 28, 2009, Ellie was given 4 weeks to live. In an effort to continue the fight against cancer... Ellie started a hardcore, life threatening, chemotherapy treatment combining 6 different agents. This was effective in reducing tumor growth for 3 months, then no longer worked. In April, Ellie returned home to embrace the rest of her life with her family and friends. Her family shared love, joy, and laughter as they embraced every remaining moment together. She spread her angel wings on June 23, 2010 and went home to heaven. Ellie's name means "light," and that is what she brought to all who met her... and continue to meet her through her page and the new foundation her mother has started in honor of Ellie's courageous battle for life.

Visit Ellie's Page: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/elliepotvin

Watch Grace and Ellie in Action: http://vimeo.com/7490610

*Rhybdomyosarcoma is a fast growing, highly malignant soft tissue sarcoma which occurs in primitive muscle cells.