Â Â Â Three years ago today my then-5 year old daughter Ellen was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and my world crumbled around me. With the help of faith, famly and awesome doctors and nurses, Ellen’s cancer was cured and my world is whole again.Â
Â Â At 8, Ellen is healthy, happy and has a wild head of hair that grew back wavy and thick after her chemo treatments ended. She finished chemo 10 months ago and her subsequent blood counts have shown she remains in remission.
Â Â Â Â Today Ellen and her dad, brothers and I will attend Relay for Life in Grand Forks and walk the Survivor’s Lap with Ellen. Rosebud, the Santa Buddies movie star golden retriever, she recieved after she attended her Make-A-Wish trip, also willÂ be at Relay for Life with us. Rosebud is one of the many good things that came out of Ellen’s cancer.
Â Â Â Â I don’t believe that God gave Ellen cancer becauseÂ myÂ Roman Catholic faith tells me thatÂ only good things come from him. I do think, though, that if we allow God to work through us, great gifts can come out of bad situations. Rosebud is one of them.
Â Â Others include the compassion Ellen developed for other kids who are sick, the outpouring of love we received from our family and friends and the awareness that we need to live in the moment and celebrate each one.
Â Â Â If you’re out at Relay for Life this evening and see an 8 year old girl holding a pink leash with a golden retriever on the end of it, introduce yourself and say “hi.” Ellen enjoys meeting people and sharing Rosebud and her story with them.