Ellie Louise Brown was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at the age of 3 in 2012
In March 2012 Ellie Louise had been unwell with chicken pox but after several days, her mum, Fiona, a nurse, instinctively knew something wasn’t quite right. Her temperature was skyrocketing, the spots were lingering and Ellie Louise was increasingly exhausted.
When her condition continued to deteriorate, Fiona urged doctors to carry out more tests. These tests unfortunately revealed that Ellie Louise had leukaemia. She was in a critical condition and commenced life-saving treatment with just hours to spare.
“The entire ordeal was extremely frightening,” said Fiona, “we really didn’t know how much her body was going to be able to cope with, but Ellie Louise is a fighter and with grit and determination she pulled through. After a tough two years and three months, she finally finished treatment on July 23 2014.
“It has not been an easy journey and when you are in the middle of it you never think you will get to the finish line. You learn to live in the present moment instead and I was continually amazed by the resilience, power and strength of children and their families facing these challenges. It is cruel to see how cancer ravages a child’s body – it is a beast and not discriminatory to age.”
Now, Ellie Louise is in primary 4. Last summer, she spent her days swimming, catching up on her favourite books and even went away to Barretstown Camp for the first time – a sleepaway camp set up by Paul Newman and designed for children who are living with serious illnesses.
Her mum, Fiona, is often humbled by Ellie Louise’s understanding of what she went through.
She said, “At times, she asks myself and her father Rodney questions which make us catch our breath. I do believe that the cancer journey makes children wise beyond their years and Ellie Louise is no exception.
“Life for us now is about appreciation, gratitude and seeking out fun and memorable experiences that we can cherish.”
The proud mum added, “As a family we understand what the most important things in life are and we make the most of it- adjusting and accepting whatever is thrown at us.”
After battling leukaemia, Ellie Louise is still a little bookworm – and she’s still loving life.