Meet Ellie

When Ellie was undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, she was very scared about her hair falling out. To help her feel better, Ellie’s family let her shave her father’s and grandfather’s heads to match hers. Ellie enjoyed this so much, the men stayed bald until Ellie’s hair grew back. Her parents also got her a henna crown tattoo and let her apply temporary tattoos on her head!

This is just one example of how Ellie and her family coped with the stress of her cancer, which was diagnosed in December 2014, when Ellie was five. Ellie went through two and half years of intense treatment, including many spinal taps, chemotherapy, injections, and medications. She missed two full months of kindergarten and many other days through 2nd grade, due to her treatment schedule and the sometimes grueling side effects. Throughout it all, Ellie stayed true to her personality—a girl who is funny, thoughtful and brave, loves playing jokes on people, and makes friends wherever she goes, including her ECF caseworker, who visited the family whenever they needed her.

“From the very beginning of Ellie’s cancer diagnosis,” said her mom Miriam, “the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation made us feel that there were people cheering us on.” Miriam said the home visits gave her family a chance to talk about any issues, and she always knew that they had someone to call if problems arose. “Ellie and her sisters loved the ECF holiday party. No matter how we’d been feeling- it always cheered us up to be celebrating around others who understood our lives.”  Ellie and her sisters also loved getting “birthday bags” from ECF, which gave them everything they needed to throw a birthday party without having to leave the house, so important when the Mullica Hill family was overwhelmed or Ellie wasn’t feeling well. This inspired Ellie to lead her Girl Scout Troop in collecting gifts and party supplies for ECF to create birthday bags for other children with cancer. Her older sister Rebecca is getting involved too, planning to make gift bags for siblings of ECF kids (and for another local organization) as the community service project for her upcoming Bat Mitzvah.

In March, 8-year-old Ellie finished her treatment, which she and her family celebrated with a big party. She had a great summer at Harry Potter camp, marine biology camp and acting camp, but is looking forward to 3rd grade. Though Ellie and her family no longer “need” ECF, her mom says, “we hope to always stay connected to the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation!”

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Where to Find Us

Headquarters

67 Walnut Ave
Suite 107
Clark, NJ 07066
(908) 322-4323

Joann Passantino
Executive Director

Central Regional Center

67 Walnut Ave
Suite 107
Clark, NJ 07066
(908) 322-4323 x17

Barbara Kopel
Sr. Central Regional Director

Southern Regional Center

451 Beech Avenue
Woodbury Heights, NJ 08097
(856) 853-4803

Mary Ann Sullivan 
Southern Regional Director

Eastern Regional Center

1710 Highway 71
Suite 2
Wall, NJ 07719
(732) 282-2324

Rosemarie Contreras
Eastern Regional Director

Northern Regional Center

174 Paterson Avenue
PO Box 212
Midland Park, NJ 07432
(201) 612-8118

Patricia Brussel
Northern Regional Director

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