The four-year-old Dublin girl who has a tumour wrapped around her spinal cord was thrilled to discover she would be travelling to Paris with her mum and dad thanks to the organisation, which grants the wishes of Irish children batting life-threatening illnesses.
Ellie, from Tallaght, was diagnosed with Grade 2 Pilcytic Astrocytoma in 2014, a condition in which a tumour is wrapped around the spinal cord and cannot be removed.In order to get a biopsy of the tumour, Ellie had a laminoplasty to relieve pressure on the spinal cord, leading to her spine curving at the top.
Her mother Joanne McLoughlin told Independent.ie that when friends and family told her to get in contact with the Make A Wish Foundation, she didn’t think Ellie would meet the criteria needed, although she has a life-threatening illness.”Within a few days of sending the application in, Ellie’s wish was granted. We couldn’t believe it,” said Joanne.
“Looking at her, you’d think there was nothing wrong with her. I was nearly trying to talk them out of it because she’s not in a wheelchair. But she met the criteria, and Ellie’s wish of meeting Anna and Elsa from Frozen came true by us being sent to Disneyland Paris.”It was so overwhelming to hear that we were going. We told her the night before, and at first she couldn’t get her head around it.”
In December 2016, just over two years since Ellie’s diagnosis, Ellie’s wish was granted and she went to Disneyland Paris with her mother and father Mark.”She got to meet the princesses and she was bouncing around. She still talks about it now. It was very special.
“It over two years after we found out about the tumour, so it was lovely to make new, happy memories at that time of year.”Joanne said that she now makes a conscious effort to post on social media and to show people where their donations to the Make A Wish Foundation are going.
“I try to post on social media and on Facebook to show people where their donations are going. The Make A Wish Foundation couldn’t have done enough. Every detail was amazing.”It’s been a hard road and it’s not going to be easy going forward, but now we have these memories of Disneyland to look back on. We’ll have the photos and keep the memories forever.”
Turning five in May, Ellie is set to start school in September.”She’s full of confidence about starting school. I’m not worried about how she’ll get on at all.”
Make A Wish Day takes place today, Friday 31 March. To make a one-off €2 donation, Text WISHES to 50300 or visit www.makeawish.ie