Our Niece Ella Needs Her Village
This is Ella - our neice - she is 10, and was diagnosed with ALL (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) on October 17, 2016. She is the daughter of Gwyn Schrecengost.
The doctors did not initially think that it was cancer at all because it did not present in the usual manner. Treatment takes about 2.5-3 years IF everything goes perfectly but a kid is not considered "cured" until they've gone ten years without a relapse.
Ella is enrolled in a Clinical Trial/Research Study that may or may not be covered by insurance. Ellas awesome family is holding their breath on this one - obviously, regardless they will ensure she gets the best possible treatment! Its the best possible care available in the area and also the studies will help save other kids so obviously they signed her up.
The other really pressing issue is that Mom, dad and brother live 2 hours away in Cook, MN. Obviously, that won't work out given the aggressive long road ahead. Its way too scary and way too expensive.
There's a lot going on here in order to ensure Ella is provided the best possible care during this long journey and ensure that her truly incredible family is right there by her side every step of the way.
The money they are raising will go towards medical costs not covered by insurance, travel to and from Duluth until they get a place, and help them with moving expenses, finding a place, groceries, diapers, etc. until they can get their feet firmly squared away in Duluth.
Lets get the family in Duluth so they can remind Ella daily of what she is made of -a strong, couragous, intelligent, funny, beautiful, charasmatic soul!
Yes, even $1 is truly helpful!
It takes a villiage, people. Please be part of Ella's village.
Thank you and really big hugs for your help, in whatever form it comes.
I wanted to post an update, as I'm not certain who is on Facebook and is able to catch a glimpse into Ella's welfare.
Ella was in the hospital for 2 weeks. She is not responding well to Round 2 of Chemo. This morning (Dec 19th), at 2:30am, she was brought back to the hospital. She has apparently developed ammonia poisoning from the chemotherapy and the Dr.s are in a lurch as there is no other type of chemo that has been proven to be effective in fighting this kind of cancer.
So, they will continue to move forward and try to find ways to keep her as healthy as possible. But truly, she has been quite ill.
On the positive side, she is still fully a 10-year old and is looking forward to Christmas. Her family continues to support her daily and find ways to mask their own exhaustion to keep this Warrior Princess' spirits high. What a remarkable family Ella is surrounded by!
I will continue to post updates. In the meantime, PLEASE don't hesitate to email me via this site, or directly at email@example.com if you have questions or just want to share your thoughts. I'm more then happy to give you an ear as well.
Thank you all again - SO much - for being a part of this village! Super Happy Holidays - your love is being felt! Big big love to you all!
Mel Snell in honor of Ella's family
As part of this process - which really is one hell of a process - I am going to post updates as I can to keep prayers coming this direction. I genuinely believe in the power of prayer (and if the word 'prayer' isn't your gig, just see them as positive thoughts)
Ella got an infection and has been admitted to the hospital. This is normal, and will be an ongoing reality for her. Her white blood cell count is virtually nonexistent with the rounds of Chemo she has received. She is quarantined in the hospital and may be there for a few days or weeks. This also means that everyone in her life, including her little brother Viljo, all need to quarantine themselves so that when she does get to go home, she will be less likely to get sick.
I've been through a lot, as I'm sure you all have, we all have our stories. Yet this, well, it hits a totally different nerve for me and my husband, Eli. My husband and I keep imagining being there, sitting with Ella and her family while they move through these unchartered waters. Sitting there silently while they go through their personal processes. Sitting there loving them, with the power of our minds, holding them with the power of our love.
Please do the same. I do believe love is profound. Whatever extra love you have to muster, please send it in their general direction with your minds and hearts. I'm glad to be associated with all of you in supporting this amazing girl and her family.
I'll keep posting updates as I get information.
Big hugs and love, people. And thank you so much for sharing this process.
I just wanted to send you an update. First and foremost, speaking for Ella and her family, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for all of your generosity. As you can imagine, Ella's family is focusing their energy on getting through the holidays and making it as special as possible for Ella, while also taking care of themselves as they continue on this unimaginable journey. Ella is still quite the warrior and her stamina is unprecedented.
Her family is literally besides themselves with the generosity of you all. They are truly in awe and their gratitude grows daily with each additional gift.
Please know I am sending the family periodic updates with your special messages. While they may not have reached out to you individually because their focus is on Ella, please know how much they appreciate each and every one of you.
Much love and big hugs to you all during this holiday season. I will try to give more updates on a more regular basis.
Melissa Snell on behalf of Ella's family/my lovely in-laws.
I am wondering if you could put Ella's address on Facebook. I would love to send her some cards. I made her a quilt. She is an amazing girl. I miss her at school. I enjoyed having her in the classroom I work in.