Ellie’s Story

Site created on September 29, 2019

Ellie Shorter was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on September 18th, 2019. Ellie is 16 years old and starting her junior year at Canby High School where she is currently a captain for the varsity soccer team and a member of the high school's cheerleading team. Ellie also finds joy in being a leader for the high school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

On The night of August 16th Ellie was hit by a drunk driver. Thankfully, Ellie walked away from the accident with a banged up car and severe whiplash. After attending a chiropractic appointment, Ellie noticed a painful lump in her neck while receiving a massage. Trying to get medically cleared to resume playing again for her high school soccer team she went to her primary doctor. Ellie mentioned the lump and that’s where the journey begins.

Three weeks of ultrasound, blood tests, a CT dye scan finally a surgical biopsy of a lymph node confirmed her families biggest fear. Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer of the lymphatic system.

On September 26th Ellie met with her oncologist, Dr. Carter. They discussed what this fight will look like and what to expect. During this visit Dr. Carter told Ellie she just so happens to be one of the unlucky ones to be dealt with this diagnosis. Without hesitation Ellie responded with “I am strong, I am actually the lucky one, I can handle this.” Dr. Carter also prepared Ellie with the fact that she would lose her hair and asked her how she felt about that.  Ellie replied with, “It’s only hair, I have so much more to me than my hair”.  Ellie's parents, Shane and Jennifer, continue to find strength in Ellie’s positive, fierce, fighting attitude.

During that same visit on September 26th, Ellie met with her assigned social worker at Doernbecher Hospital. The social worker is there to help her emotionally, as well as connecting her with other teens battling cancer. The social worker asked Ellie if she had anything she wanted to talk about or if she had any concerns.  The only concern Ellie has, as of now, is her upcoming high school homecoming dance.  Ellie was nominated as a homecoming princess and really wants to enjoy homecoming week and be able to attend the dance with her friends and her boyfriend.  The social worker was kind and understanding and was able to make sure she was appointment and treatment free for homecoming week.

On Thursday, October 3rd Ellie will go to OHSU Knight Cancer Institute to have a full PET body Scan. This scan will look to see if the cancer has spread to any other organs in her body.  As soon as we have the results from that scan I will update this site with a new journal entry to let everyone know the results.

The week of October 7th - 11th Ellie will have no appointments or treatments.  Then on Monday, October 14th Ellie will be admitted to Doernbecher Hospital for four days. On the 14th she will have a bone morrow biopsy. After this biopsy they will be able to determine the stage of the cancer. At this time, they will also surgically place a port in her body to start receiving her chemo treatments. Immediately following this procedure on the 14th her first chemo treatment will begin. During her four-day stay in the hospital they will monitor how she responds to the treatment and keep a close eye on her. Ellie will be able to return home on October 17th.

As many of you know Ellie is a strong fighter. Together with her family, Ellie is ready to start this fight. Ellie’s family appreciates all of the support as you stand by them giving her the strength and courage to fight this cancer battle, head on, and win!!!

Newest Update

Journal entry by Jennifer Sandsness Arritola

Amazing news! 

This is from Ellie's mom, Jennifer:

If I could get on my roof and shout it I would but for now I’m just going to shout it on Facebook. ELLIE IS CANCER FREE!!

I truly believe it takes a village, tribe or in our case an ARMY! Thank You! Tonight we go to bed with a sense of comfort and peace knowing our girl won!!

Prayers to all of the wonderful families we’ve met still walking this awful journey. My heart aches for you!

On the October scan below the cancer is shown in Ellie’s neck and chest. Friday’s scan shows the chemo killed it all!! Hallelujah!! Next step... we pray for continued health while we wait for her next scan in 6 months.
#elliesarmy #hodgkinssurvivor

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