A 3-year-old girl from Spanaway, Washington, wishes to see the world, but since she suffers from brain cancer it has prevented her from doing so … or has it?
People across the globe decided to bring the world right in Ellie Walton’s home—with postcards, which to Ellie, it is just as good as traveling.
At only 4 months old, Ellie was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Now at age 3, battling glioblastoma multiforme, a common form of brain cancer, the toddler has had at least 13 brains surgeries.
“Ellie really doesn’t understand fully what’s going on, but she knows she’s different. I don’t know if she knows what feeling good is. She doesn’t know why, or what cancer is. She is still too young for that,” her mother Sarah Walton told Epoch Times via email.
One thing for sure, despite everything that’s occurring, the postcards makes Ellie very happy.
It all started when Walton’s grandparents sent Ellie and her older sister Ava, who is nearly 7, postcards from Arizona—both girls were beaming with excitement over the mail.
Ellie’s postcard had a picture of a donkey on it, “She loves animals! She thinks it’s so cool to get animals in the mail! … They make her smile, she holds them making animal noises,” said Walton.
Eventually the girls started asking for more postcards from across the globe, although according to Walton, they were interested in Florida the most.
Walton put in the request on a Facebook page she uses to update people on Ellie’s condition and progress.
“I started asking people to send postcards. It was a few postcards here and there,” at first, Walton recalled.
Ellie can’t leave the house when her counts are low—she’s on “lock-down” as her mother puts it—because the cancer treatment weakens her immune system. But the postcards cheer her up.
Ava reads them to her little sister too.
“They get to learn about new places. It’s a great experience for both of them,” Walton said.
And Ava is Ellie’s “biggest supporter,” and the only one who can give Ellie her medications, their mom said.
“Ava is such a huge help, and loves her sister so much. She worries for her, and always wants to hug and kiss her.”
Words can not express how grateful I am. Thank you for bringing smiles to my girls. #blessed
Posted by Prayers for Ellie Walton on Tuesday, February 23, 2016
They’ve received cards from 47 U.S. states and even from foreign countries, including Germany, Stockholm, and South Korea. So far, Ellie has received about 500 postcards.
“Sometimes it is hard to explain how happy I am. I love seeing her smile, she is my world, so having others care for her as much as I do means more than even words can explain. To me these are more than postcards, they are another prayer, and someone thinking and wishing her well,” said Walton.
Ellie is currently on two different kinds of chemotherapy—oral, and two IV chemos—and she will likely stay on them for the next year, Walton said, adding that Ellie has also done proton radiation.
“This is her second time doing chemo, so she has a few side effects already. Those include hydrocephalus, neuropathy, hearing and sight loss, tremors, sensory issues, and a non-working pituitary gland.”
But as of February 2016, Ellie’s last scans showed the tumor shrinking.
For more information on ways you can help Ellie, including sending her postcards, visit her website at www.prayersforellie.com.