MEMPHIS, Tenn. (KSNW) – When Elizabeth Collie was 20 weeks pregnant with her daughter Eleanor, she was made aware that Eleanor had Down Syndrome. It wasn’t until Eleanor was five weeks old, the family also learned Eleanor had cancer through an abnormal blood test result.
Eleanor spent her first birthday at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, beginning treatment for acute myeloid leukemia, a cancer-specific to children with Down Syndrome.
“Without these little cords in her arm, people wouldn’t know she’s sick or getting treatment anywhere,” Collie said.
The family began treatment on Eleanor’s cancer when she was just over a month old at a St. Jude affiliate clinic in Johnson City, Tenn. where they reside. At 11 months, they were relocated to St. Jude in Memphis, eight hours from home.
Collie carried her family’s health insurance but had to resign from her job in order to be present for Eleanor’s treatments. Because Eleanor is being treated by St. Jude, the Collie family will never see a bill for their treatment, travel or food.
“It’s been nice to know we can just take care of her and worry about her and not have to worry about everything else going on in the world,” Collie said.
Eleanor is a happy, smiley girl now nearing on her second birthday.
A scan last month revealed she is cancer-free, but St. Jude will continue to monitor her through her fourth birthday.
“We are very optimistic that she’s going to be even more energetic and a force to be reckoned with when she is feeling better and healthy,” Collie said.
You can support families like the Collies by reserving your ticket for the fifth annual St. Jude Dream Home giveaway beginning on March 4. KSN hopes to raise $1,350,000 for the kids of St. Jude.
The winner will be drawn May 14.
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