Meet Elli – a 12-year-old girl with an infectious smile and a heart of gold. On April 16, 2016, Elli was diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer. School activities, sleepovers and sports have been put on hold so Elli and her family can focus on the battle before them.

Elli began chemotherapy to fight five large tumors throughout her body as well as multiple smaller tumors in her lungs. The tumor in her kidney grew into her inferior vena cava – the main blood vessel that carries filtered blood from her kidneys to her lungs, resulting in multiple blood transfusions.

In June, scans revealed that the tumors were shrinking, but not as much as everyone had hoped. Elli began radiation a few days later on her 12th birthday. In late July, Elli and her family found out the cancer was also in her liver.  

Elli underwent a seven-hour surgery in October at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Surgeons were able to remove her right tumor and thrombosis in her inferior vena cava; however, active cancer cells had to be left behind because of their proximity to her heart.

Since her diagnosis, Elli has been in and out of hospitals. She is currently in the throes of a five-day chemo series every three weeks, which requires hospitalization. She has a feeding tube due to a loss of appetite and nausea. In addition to her treatment, Elli participates in homebound school two days a week with her teacher.    

Elli’s mom left her job to be by her side throughout her cancer battle. Elli’s dad is a residential contractor but came down pneumonia from his visit at St. Jude and hasn’t been able to work full-time.

Damon’s Rally Cap Charity was honored to visit with this amazing fighter on Nov. 29 and present her family with a donation to help brighten their holidays. 

Throughout her pain and her battle with cancer, Elli continues to rally with hope (and with a bright smile).

Update - Elli got clear scans on July 25, 2019 and is doing great.



Jill Heckman a figher herself, got us in touch with Elli and her family. Jill and her family were also there to give Elli a gift from Jill's Hope Foundation.









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