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Ellie

Ellie

Ellie

Like any other 5-year-old girl, Ellie is full of life, on the move and loves to laugh. However, when she was diagnosed with cerebellar hypoplasia at the age of 8 months, her parents were unsure of what the future may hold for their oldest child.

“Cerebellar hypoplasia is a rare genetic disorder; the baby is born without part of the cerebellum, which controls balance, equilibrium, eye movement and the mechanics of speech,” explains Ellie’s dad, Donald. “In order to improve fine and gross motor skills, physical and occupational therapies are needed.”

Within two months of beginning therapy at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Greenville, Ellie can not only stand independently for longer periods of time, but can also now brush her teeth, use utensils better and take her shoes on and off.

Each milestone is important progress for Ellie and her family, who relocated to Greenville from Roanoke, Virginia, largely due to the care she could receive regularly at the Greenville Shriners Hospital.

“I want donors to understand just how appreciative our family, and the many families that I see at the hospital on a weekly basis, are for the amazing care our children receive from top-notch doctors and medical staff,” Donald said. “From our first visit, Shriners [Hospital] provided consultations and test results within hours – while other medical facilities had taken weeks. Everyone at the hospital is second-to-none when it comes to working with children with disabilities.”

Toys, interactive games and displays, as well as comfortable accommodations, are all part of the Shriners experience to Ellie and her family. According to her father, the big sister thrives at the hospital due to constant stimulation during her visits.

“My dad was a Shriner before he passed away many years ago,” said Donald. “I know that he is so proud of what his fellow Shriners have done to create such a wonderful hospital … it’s like we’ve come full circle as a family with Shriners. The hospital means the world to us.”

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