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There was a lump on Ellie’s tummy when she was 2 ½ , we took her to the doctor and through many tests, we found out that she had Wilms Tumor. That is cancer of the kidney. The tumor had grown through her body – from her back, where the kidneys are located – to the front, where I felt it. A week later, we were at Children’s Hospital for a 4-hour surgery to remove the tumor and her kidney. They also removed a few small cancer nodules in her abdomen. After she recovered from surgery, she began radiation. Radiation was very hard on her and she would throw up for hours afterwards. And she had radiation every day. After radiation was over, we began chemo. We had chemo once a week for 6 months. After a treatment, she would be exhausted for days, only to recover and begin to bounce back before we had to go again. That went on for 6 months. She became extremely frail and thin. She also lost all of her hair. During that time, she turned 3. After chemo, Ellie was finally able to bounce back and begin the journey to good health. About 6 months after chemo ended, we were back at Children’s Hospital – having gotten there by ambulance from Lincoln – because Ellie was in extreme pain. Her intestines had gotten in a knot. With the extra room her kidney had left, they had tangled themselves. She had emergency surgery that night to remove 18 inches of her small intestine. She was in the hospital for a week and the recovery from that surgery was long.

Ellie is now in remission. She continues to go to Children’s for check ups to make sure the cancer has stayed away. We have been very blessed that is has not returned. We have had a few scares, but all turned out to be false alarms. We have now passed the 5 year mark, which means the chances of cancer coming back, diminish. We are so thrilled to be on this side of the journey!