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Phoenix-area girls raise thousands of dollars for a toddler with cancer

Best friends raised money for a 2-year-old with cancer and raised a ton. This segment is sponsored by Papa Murphy’s.
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 12:14 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Hearing about a cancer diagnosis is hard for anyone. Imagine being 8 years old and hearing a toddler -- a family friend -- has cancer. Two Valley girls immediately knew they had to do something to help, so they did Something Good.

Tatum Pillor and Maisie Gerken decided to run a lemonade stand after learning little Ellie, who turns 2 this summer, was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer. Earlier this month, the best friends spread the word to family, friends, and the community about their fundraiser- Lemonade4Ellie.

Never in their wildest dream did they imagine the support that showed up. For several hours, cars lined up around the block, people waiting to buy a lemonade. People wanted to support the cause and donate money.

The girls had a big goal: $3,000 to help Ellie’s family with medical expenses during their cancer journey. They shattered that goal. With the support of their families, friends, and strangers, Lemonade4Ellie raised about $20,000!

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The money will pay for Ellie’s stem-cell harvesting procedure, which her family’s insurance company deemed unnecessary. Ellie has been getting weekly chemo, and her tumor has shrunk to an operable position. She’s set for surgery on May 5.

On their Caring Bridge website, Ellie’s mother, Amy, wrote: “Sometimes you don’t know where the next bout of hope is going to come from, and sometimes it comes from places that — like an oyster bearing a pearl, or a determined duo of eight-year-olds — will (pleasantly) surprise you. No matter how rough this journey will get, we will always choose to see the beauty.”

Amy went on to write, “To all of the donors and contributors to yesterday’s LemonAid4Ellie event, and ESPECIALLY to Maisie and Tatum, please know that you have made a huge difference in our brave little girl’s life, and know also that we will never stop fighting!” To follow Ellie’s journey or to donate, go to hwww.caringbridge.org/visit/ourbraveellie/journal.

Is Something Good happening in your neighborhood or community? We’d love to hear from you! Go to www.azfamily.com/goto/somethinggood or email Tess Rafols at trafols@azfamily.com.