By Patricia Devlin
THE parents of a seriously ill four year-old girl are to mark the date she was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer by holding a special fundraising coffee morning.
Little Ellie Louise Brown, from Dungannon, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia on March 28th last year when she was just she was just three years old.
Since then Ellie has went onto battle her way through the aggressive illness, with many obstacles put in her way, and has commenced daily bouts of intensive chemotherapy.
It is estimated Ellie will undergo treatment until March, 2014.
Since being diagnosed Ellie’s parents Fiona and Rodney have launched the Ellie Louise Brown Fundraising Appeal, and have raised cash for a number of local cancer charities including CLIC Sargent.
They have received unprecedented support from across Mid-Ulster, with donations and support coming in from across Cookstown and Dungannon districts.
Now they hope to raise awareness of not just childhood cancers, but also the importance of giving blood through the coffee morning which will take place in Dongahmore’s Torrent Sports Complex.
“Ellie Louise was critically ill at time of diagnosis Her haemoglobin was critically low at 2.5 (normal range 10-14) and platelets were extremely low,” said mum Fiona.
“In order for Ellie Louise to receive lifesaving chemotherapy treatment she had to go to theatre for a procedure to determine the type of leukaemia.
“But as her haemoglobin and platelets were so low she had to receive two units of blood and one unit of platelets before this could happen.
“This was an extremely frightening time for us and it is this reason why we are urging a campaign across NI to increase blood donors in Northern Ireland.
Fiona says donated blood saved Ellie’s life.
“In the first six months of Ellie Louise’s treatment she required many units of blood and platelets,” she added,
“We want to thank all the blood donors in NI for giving their blood.
“We also want to try encourage more people to donate blood. Also if more than 100 people in an area are interested in giving blood the blood transfusion can come to your area. Please contact 0500 534 666 for further details.
“As we live near Newmills we are trying to encourage as many in area to register their interest so we can get Blood transfusion service to come locally on regular basis.”
If you are between 16-65 years of age you can enrol to become a donor.
Contact NI Blood Transfusion Service 0500 534 666 to register your interest.
Registration forms will also be available at the Coffee Morning, which will be held in Torrent Sports Complex, on Thursday, March 28th from 8.30am to 12.30am.
For more information on the Ellie Louise Brown Fundraising Appeal, or to donate, log onto www.virginmoneygiving.com/ellielouisebrownfundraising.