Joy as Ellen’s cancer battle in remission

June 17, 2019

The family of little Ellen Treanor from Bessbrook say they are overjoyed at news that recent scans show ‘no evidence of disease’.

Having been diagnosed with stage four high-risk neuroblastoma in January last year, the brave four-year-old has endured eighteen months of intensive treatment.

On Tuesday last, little Ellen rang the bell at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, signalling that she is officially in remission.

Ellen’s fight is not over however, as her family hope to press ahead with plans to take her to New York where she can access specialist trial treatment that will offer her the best chance at beating the disease for good.  And on the back of the recent scan results, it is hoped the treatment in New York will begin by early next month.

Posting on Ellen’s Journey Facebook page on Tuesday, her family expressed their delight at  her progress and hope for the future.  

The post read: “Today is the day we have been hoping and praying for, Ellen’s end of treatment scans have shown ‘no evidence of disease’.  

After 18 long months of treatment, Ellen was delighted to ring the bell in clinic today, surrounded by so many of the people who have carried us through this nightmare, and made it so much easier to bear.

“As happy as we are today, there is a lot of sadness in our wee children’s oncology community at the minute, and our thoughts and prayers are never far from those families who are going through the most difficult of times.

“Ellen still has a long road ahead of her, we hope to get a date for America very soon, now that we have her results. We are eternally grateful to everyone who has made this next stage of Ellen’s journey possible, we could not have given  her this chance without each and every one of your help and support.

Ellen’s dad Paddy said they are “over the moon” to get the news but added that her fight isn’t over yet.

He said: “As far as Ellen’s consultant in the Royal is concerned, that’s their treatment protocol completed and she’s reacted as well as they could have hoped for.

“Overnight I’ve already started to look at Ellen differently, I don’t look at her now as a sick child, it’s hard to explain and it’s great to see her running around and we’re planning a BBQ and a bit of party at the weekend to celebrate.

“We’re taking the positives out of it, of course, but with the type of cancer that it is there’s always that 40-50% chance of relapse which is why we are still pushing ahead with the trial treatment in America.”

Following Ellen’s devastating diagnosis, a fundraising campaign was established by her family and friends with the aim of raising enough money to pay for the treatment in New York, and to date it has raised a massive £570,000.

Revealing that they are now anxiously awaiting a date for Ellen to begin the specialist trial treatment, Paddy added: “The treatment is on a phase two trial at the moment at it’s an antibody type treatment which works pretty much like any other antibody which will boost her own system to fight the cancer so if it was to return she would be able to fight against it before it develops further so it’s just really to stop it from returning.

“The results from phase one were excellent which would have been kids who actually did relapse so phase two is now kids who relapse plus kids who are in remission which includes Ellen.

“The trials cost £195,000 and we’ve raised £560,000 which is amazing, we’ve been totally overwhelmed by the support, we can’t thank people enough. The good thing is the funds which aren’t used will go into the charity Solving Kids Cancer under Ellen’s name in case   she needs further treatment down the line.

“Part of the criteria for the trial is that you need to start it within 42 days of your scan date which for Ellen would mean she would need to start it by 4th July so we’re really hoping we get a date soon, we will know better once we hear back from the consultants in the next day or two.”