Ellen’s Journey campaign passes £540,000

March 19, 2019

A massive fundraising drive for potentially life-saving treatment in America for a young Bessbrook girl has passed £540,000. Little Ellen Treanor, who celebrated her fourth birthday last week, has completed four out of five rounds of antibody treatment following successful chemo and radiotherapy last year for childhood cancer, neuroblastoma.  The tot will take part in a US trial  this summer aimed at preventing the highly aggressive cancer from returning.   

Ellen’s parents, Paddy and Claire, announced the amazing amount, which has been raised by people across the district since last July, at Ellen’s birthday party in Bessbrook Community Centre. 

The couple said they have been overwhelmed by the entire community’s response to their little girl’s plight and were “lost for words” at the “phenomenal” figure. 

Dad Paddy commended the whole community, “from Newry and further afield” who had rallied to help the family since little Ellen was diagnosed with the life-threatening childhood cancer neuroblastoma in January last year. The tot underwent high-dose chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment as well as a 13- hour operation to remove part of a tumour from her stomach. The aggressive cancer has a particularly high rate of returning with only 40 per cent of children with the disease still alive five years after their first treatment. 

The brave four year old will begin her fifth and final round of antibody treatment on April 1 before undergoing further scans to ensure she is cancer- free before flying to New York at the start of summer to take part in the Bivalent Vaccine clinical trial at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York – a vaccine which has proved largely successful in reducing the chance of relapse. 

Ellen will be on the trial along with children that have had successful chemo and radiotherapy treatment and have not yet relapsed.

The huge figure is testament to the generosity of the hundreds of individuals and organisations involved in the fundraising campaign over the last eight months and Ellen’s parents have extended their overwhelming thanks to everyone who made Ellen their chosen charity and who donated or helped in any way.

“We couldn’t get her to America without everyone’s support, so it really is amazing and we are thankful to everyone that has supported us. It means so much and we are forever grateful,” added mum Claire.