Ellee's Story

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Abingdon, Virginia

Ellee Portrait, smiling with red flower bow

In January 2017, 5-year old Ellee’s journey started with excruciating leg pain and a visit to Niswonger Children’s Hospital’s emergency room. Within a few hours, she was admitted and diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, then flown to Memphis two days later.

After additional diagnoses deemed her high risk, Ellee embarked on an intense chemotherapy treatment that required her and her mom, Shauna, to spend most of that year in Memphis. Relief came when Ellee and her mother were able to come home for visits to Abingdon, Virginia, for a week or two at a time. While home, Ellee was able to get her labs checked and make visits to the pediatric oncology clinic at Niswonger Children’s Hospital.

"It was wonderful to be only 45 minutes away from her doctors,” Shauna said. “Otherwise, we wouldn’t have been able to come home.”

Now, Ellee is two years into her treatment, and her family is glad she can have her weekly treatments close to home at Niswonger Children’s Hospital. “While we were in Memphis, we missed our family. I’m just so grateful that the affiliate clinic is here because the four of us are able to be a family again — that’s important medicine, too,” says Shauna. “If it wasn’t for Niswonger Children’s Hospital, we would have been in Memphis for almost three years.”