She’s only 3-years-old, but she has superpowers. Despite Ellie Walton’s diagnosis she’s still smiling and living life to the fullest. Ellie has been fighting brain cancer for almost three years. She was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor called desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma/astrocytoma when she was 4 months old. Since the original diagnosis, Ellie has received seven rounds of chemotherapy and has had more than a dozen brain surgeries and countless other procedures.
Ellie’s parents, Kyle and Sarah, refused to let their little girl give up hope. They shared a Facebook post asking others to send postcards to Ellie and her big sister Ava so that they could make a scrapbook. “All of my strength comes from my beautiful girls. They are my reason for being, my life, and my future. Everything I am is because of them,” said Sarah. “I will tell you though, the community that we have is stunning. Amazing in every way! Each day someone is lifting my spirits, praying for me, or helping me without even knowing just how much they are. Our community has helped us backed us since the start, without them, I wouldn’t be this strong.”
Kyle and Sarah try to keep Ellie’s life as normal as possible. She’s just like every other kid – she loves to be outside, loves animals and playing with her friends. Her favorite characters are The Muppets and Rapunzel. A week after their Facebook post, Ellie’s parents posted a video of the girls gazing at dozens of postcards from across the country and around the world.
Sarah shared her daughter’s story with others because she wanted to inspire and give hope to others going through a similar situation. “It is not easy, and it will never be easy. Everyone will expect you to be strong and will look to you for strength themselves. Knowledge is power, know what you’re talking about, find everything you can on your child’s cancer, clinical trials, ways to cope with pain, medications, never stop searching for ways to help your baby,” said Sarah. “You are your child’s greatest advocate, and you know your children better than any doctor – if you think something is wrong, don’t stop until you have answers you are comfortable with.”
Sarah believes that it’s important to build a community and to not shy away from experiencing and expressing your emotions. “There are days when you will ask God why, but when you’re done asking why, stand tall, and fight as hard as your child is fighting. It’s hard to tell them it will be okay, when you don’t know if it actually will be, but instead say you will never leave, hold their hand and be there to wipe their tears and hold their hand, they need you as much as you need them,” said Sarah.
Ellie keeps fighting every day and she refuses to give up. Like her parents, Ellie is driven and doesn’t stand down. “Every night before bed, Ellie makes us sing to her,” said Sarah. “And every night I get to hear her say ‘I love you mom’ as she pets my head. These moments are ones I’ll never forget. These are the moments that make this life worth living. I may not be perfect, but I’m perfect to her, and that’s all that matters.”
If you’d like to send Ellie Walton and family hope. Send postcards to: Ellie Walton P.O. Box 5094 Spanaway, WA 98387.