Swab for Ellie: Helping a 6-year-old Montrealer in the fight for her life

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Swabbing for Ellie
WATCH: Ellie White, 6, desperately needs a bone marrow donor to help her fight a second round of a severe form of leukemia. Her family has put out a call for a matching donor. Find out what you can do to help Ellie as Barbara White joins Global's Laura Casella & Kim Sullivan to talk about her granddaughter's fight against cancer – Oct 24, 2018

Laying in a bed at Montreal Children’s Hospital is far from what six year old Ellie White hoped she would be doing at this time of year.

“She’s bright, she’s caring and she just wants to be back in Grade 1 with her friends,” said Barbara White, Ellie’s grandmother.

In early December 2017, Ellie was diagnosed with AML Leukemia, a rare and severe form of cancer.

For six months, the young girl was isolated in a hospital room for intensive treatments. She wasn’t able to eat and her condition fluctuated on a day-to-day basis. “We lived the nightmare for six months,” her grandmother said.

It wasn’t until the end of May that doctors told Ellie she could go home. During the summer, she finally got the chance to be a normal kid. Ellie went to Disney World with her family, participated in both day camp and dance camp with her friends, and got a new puppy.

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In September, it was back to school, but in early October Ellie received devastating news — her leukemia was back, and her treatment required a bone marrow transplant.

But finding a donor is proving difficult, something the family wants to emphasize for all those doing treatment for leukemia.

“We need to fill the bone marrow donor banks. We need to find the best match for her and for anybody else who ends up in her position,” White said.

News of Ellie’s condition has already caused a spike in Héma Québec’s donor registrations and caught the attention of a former Habs defenseman.

P.K. Subban shared his feelings on Instagram and Twitter, cheering Ellie on.

Despite online support and the increase in donor applications, Ellie has yet to find a perfect match, but her family remains optimistic.

As for the young girl though, she’s looking forward to the day she can go home and reunite with her puppy.

“It’s not fair, I’ve left Isadore my new puppy, I need to see him grow up,” Ellie said.

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Anyone can register to become a potential donor with a simple saliva swab test. For more information visit Héma-Québec or Swab for Ellie Facebook page.

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