follow her story on liftupellie.com
Ellie Potvin was only six years old when she was diagnosed with stage 4 rhabdomyoarcoma, a rare childhood cancer, in July of 2008.
Ellie’s parents discovered a tumor in her pelvic area, which then metastasized into her lungs. The disease accounts for about three percent of childhood cancers, with about 350 children diagnosed with it each year. The five year survival rate hovers around 25 percent, and relapse is extremely likely. Ellie endured 42 rounds of chemotherapy with the hope that the cancer was in remission last spring.
In October doctors discovered the cancer has returned, with only a 10 percent chance of being cured. The relapse has not done much to dampen Ellie’s bubbly, positive personality, which is matched by a twin sister, Grace, with whom she just shared an eighth birthday party.
Ellie’s battle with cancer has made her an inspirational spirit for the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, which has gone to great lengths to support her. Fans include the Charlotte Checkers hockey team, who recently hosted a second “Lift Up Ellie” night during home game to raise money for her medical bills. The team’s previous efforts raised more than $9,600.
Ellie’s story has quickly garnered hundreds of supporters via Twitter, including Lance Armstrong, Deepak Chopra, Nancy Grace, Khloe Kardashian and Shawn Johnson.
follow her journey on twitter @liftupellie