Ellie Potvin – Rest High on that Mountain


Having a child that fought cancer and walked very close to the edge of the cliff changed our family forever. Fortunately, our dear Miranda walked through the fire and made it out of the other side of the valley. Below are two pictures. The first is from the first month of her treatment and the second from last Christmas:

MirandaTreatment MirandaChristmas

In the United States, 80% of childhood cancer patients survive. Through our journey, however, we have met more of those who did not. At first, I was really surprised by this, as the numbers did not work out. Then I found that the majority of the survivors are leukemia patients (primarily Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia or ALL) and spend most of their time after the initial visit at home, only visiting the hospital when they get really sick with their counts bottomed out. The hospital is for the patients with really bad cancer (as if you can ever call it good).

Tiffany has decided to get together a group of 46 women to shave their heads for childhood cancer this September. The idea being that raising awareness also raises funding for a cure (less than 1% off the American Cancer Society budget currently goes to childhood cancer). I have reached out to families trying to give them hope and possibly lead them to complementary treatments to help their children get through the cancer treatment.

Today, one of the children we have followed for years earned her wings (a childhood cancer euphemism for passing away). We have watched the Potvins go through the throws of completing treatment, finding their dear Ellie had relapsed, go through even stronger treatments, and ultimately reach out for other options when the doctors said there was nothing more they could do.

That is the clinical side, but Ellie was not a patient, she was a lovely little girl. Below is a picture of Ellie, vibrant and full of life.
Ellie Potvin

A pictures paints a thousand words and the next picture had my heart yesterday:

EllieScan

The black on the scan is the part of her lungs not overcome by Rhabdomyosarcoma tumors. When I saw this, I knew that only God’s intervention would stop me from reading the following words soon.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 11:42 AM, EDT
Ellie gained her angel wings at 11:35am and rest in my arms.

You can read her Caring Bridge journal at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/elliepotvin/journal. This is a sad day for those of us who have followed Ellie’s battle. I find myself driven to tears, even knowing I would likely read this news soon.

I would like to say rest in peace, but in the words of Mimi Avery on Facebook (mother to Julian Avery, aka King Juju, who earned his wings in January 2008):

"Rest in Peace " is for old people, children should NOT be resting , they should be healthy, running ,jumping , swinging, climbing, skipping, winning and losing games of soccer, football or hockey, painting, kissing us every single day. RIP is not for kids… Just saying…

I dream of a day when kids no longer have cancer. I pray it is not just a dream.

Peace and Grace,
Greg

Twitter: @gbworld

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