Two years ago, in October of 2019, Ella started limping and saying her leg hurt. She was a competitive gymnast at the time, so the Baumer's chalked it up to growing pains. But then the pain continued. They took her to her pediatrician who examined her and they both agreed it was likely a gymnastics injury and so they treated with rest. But then it still didn’t get better. Courtney knew something was off and started videotaping Ella's gait when she ran to take to their next appointment. Ella noticed some slight swelling on her leg. It obviously wasn’t a simple injury that would heal itself. They needed to go back to the doctor.
On November 15th, 2019, before they could get back into the doctor, Ella’s femur snapped. With a simple xray, a massive tumor was exposed. It spanned from the growth plate in her knee to just a few cm below her left hip. Within two weeks, they had a port placed and started chemo. Ella loves holidays, and she spent the first two months easing the crushing blow of the diagnosis with planning and decorating for thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.
The Baumer's spent the better part of the next 9 months in a hospital bed. Ella got 3 different kinds of chemo inpatient and spent 3 or 4 weeks out of every 5 admitted.
Ella took a break from chemo in March 2020 to have a complex leg amputation called a rotationplasty. They traveled to Houston, TX for the procedure. Due to complications, what was supposed to be a 3-5 day stay turned into a full month in the hospital and 6 weeks in Texas.
When they returned home, Ella finished out her chemo in July 2020. In August 2020, she was declared “no evidence of disease” and had her port removed. We all celebrated in a big way.
November 2020 had different plans. At her 3 month scans, all the “benign granulomas” had grown, meaning they were definitely cancer. They were crushed. After everything the Baumer's had been through, it wasn’t enough. They knew they would have to fight again, but this time it would be even harder than the first. I can’t even begin to explain how devastating that feeling is.
Since then, she’s had two lung surgeries where about a dozen tumors were removed, started another chemotherapy that was unsuccessful and then discontinued, spent 6 months on an Oral drug meant to slow the growth that had the worlds worst side effects and had countless scans. Through all of that, the cancer continued to spread. She now has 5 new spots. They have decided to temporarily move to Houston and seek treatment at MD Anderson so Ella can be apart of one of various clinical trial options.
On behalf of the Baumer family, I want to thank you for your continued prayers and financial support. They are so appreciative of each and every thought, prayer, monetary blessing, and kind gesture you have sent their way.