Blood donations help save New Jersey girl's life during brave battle with leukemia

Alyana Gomez Image
Thursday, March 14, 2024
Blood donations help save NJ girl's life during battle with leukemia
Blood donations help save NJ girl's life during battle with leukemia

WILLIAMSTOWN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Ellie Moon is a bright, vibrant 5-year-old girl with a very playful spirit.

Her bravery was tested three days before her 3rd birthday when she was rushed to the hospital for a mysterious illness.

"In October 2021, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia which is a type of blood cancer," said Ellie's mom, Nicole Patterson.

Parents, Frank and Nicole Patterson spent the next month at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, right by Ellie's side as she underwent chemo and multiple lifesaving blood transfusions.

"She had to have 26 different transfusions and ended up getting a little over 3,800 milliliters of blood," said Patterson.

Patterson says they sometimes had to wait hours for the blood donations to come in.

The demand for blood, far outpacing the supply, prompting the Red Cross to declare a blood crisis for the first time ever.

"It's hard to put a face to who is going to get the blood but when you see them and it's your kid, it makes you view it much differently," she said.

Despite the challenges, Ellie persevered. One minute she was getting a transfusion, the next she was learning to ride a bike without training wheels.

Then last month, the Williamstown girl reached a major milestone. Ellie rang the bell, to mark the end of treatment, and a hopeful future free of cancer.

6abc is once again teaming up with the American Red Cross for our annual blood drive. The 6ABC Philly Blood Drive is happening on Wednesday, March 27 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. It will be held at two locations: in Philadelphia and Collingswood, New Jersey. There is still time to sign up.