Eleanor is a beautiful almost 2 year old girl. One of her family’s favorite things is to be home with her and enjoy normal life. She loves to dance so her family has lots of dance parties when she is feeling well. There is always music on in the house and she loves playing with her parents and her three dogs.
On February 18th, I will eat a scoop or two of #icecreamforbreakfast to support Eleanor because #kidsgetcancertoo. #EllieStrongTweet
Eleanor began her cancer journey when she started showing a constant head tilt and vomiting daily, when she was only 11 months old. Her mom took her to the emergency room 3 times and her pediatrician 6 times over two months. They told her parents she had a muscle issue and acid reflux. When she started throwing up blood, her mother demanded she be admitted to the hospital for tests.
While there, a visiting pediatrician did an extensive exam and suggested Eleanor be transferred a children’s hospital to figure out what was going on. Before transferring, they decided to run a quick CT scan. When the doctors came back in the room, her parents saw the looks on their faces after being told to sit down, they were so scared. Then they were told that their 13-month-old had a brain tumor the size of a golf ball crushing her brain stem. They said she would need brain surgery as soon as possible but they would likely not be able to remove the whole tumor because of it’s location. Her surgery was two days later.
The day of the surgery, Eleanor’s parents had 30 friends and family in the waiting room, waiting together to hear the news. The doctors came out and pulled her parents to the side and told them the surprising truth, THEY GOT THE ENTIRE TUMOR. They were shocked and so happy.
The tumor turned out to be rare form of cancer called Atypical Teratoid Rhabdoid Tumor (ATRT). There are only about 25-30 cases in the US each year. Once she recovered from her surgery, they stared chemo and did a stem cell harvest at the same time. It was very rough on her and her counts took so long to come back up.
Her second round was pretty rough but was sent home to finish recovery. Unfortunately, after two days, she begin running a low fever. After getting to the Children’s Hospital, Eleanor started vomiting repeatedly and blood was found in her diaper. After an ultrasound to check on her internal organs, blood started pouring out of her mouth and everyone started freaking out. She was rushed to the ICU where she continued to bleed out. She then stopped breathing.
They quickly put in a tube and started giving her blood. They ended up replacing 2.5 times her entire blood volume. They told her parents that if they had waited just 10 more minutes at home, she would not have made it. She spent a week in a coma and about three weeks in the PICU. She slowly got better and her counts came up and they were able to go home.
Eleanor and her parents are currently home until she starts her third round of chemo where she will also get her stem cells transplanted back into her after chemo. Keep Eleanor and her parent in your thoughts as she continues this fight for her little life. #EllieStrong