An unforgettable day

    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. 

   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.

     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 will be at Relay for Life with us. Rosebud is one of the many good things that came out of Ellen’s cancer.

     I don’t believe that God gave Ellen cancer because my  Roman Catholic faith tells me that 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.

   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.

    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.

4 thoughts on “An unforgettable day

  1. I’m so glad that your daughter got better. I still can’t figure out why so many area children have gotten cancer. It just breaks my heart. Kids should not have to go through that.
    Please give her a big hug for me. :)

  2. We are so grateful for Ellen and all that she brings to our community. What an amazing and gifted young woman she is and what a delight to be around.

  3. I read you heartbreaking/heartwarming story. It is always so hard to see a child sick and the things they endure that we as Adults cant imagine, little alone a child having to endure. I too believe that God does not place ailments or bad things on anyone. In my opinion, we go though trials in our life because it is part of the whole scheme of things that is bigger then what we see. We all have a purpose and the things we endure are for a reason. who knows, her courage may have been what it took for another person she met along the way with her illness to not give up. Anyway, I am so thankful your child is doing well. I do not live in your State, but I have always wanted to, there has always been something drawing me to it. Hopefully one day, I can come and live among your community or one like it. Just for curosity, what did Storm Chaser mean with the comment of “I still can’t figure out why so many area children have gotten cancer.” Has there been a rise in childhood cancer in your area or state? If so, hopefully epidemeology have intervened and are conducting a study to find the answer. My prays will be with you and your community and asking that God watch over each and everyone there.

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