Elliott's Army has been set up by Victoria, a friend of Elliott's family. Here, Victoria explains why...
I never knew that life could be so precious until 8th October 2019, time stood still on that day. One minute Elliott was playing with my son in the summer holidays, they were just doing what best friends do, pretending to be a superhero, filling my house with giggles and fun. I then received a message saying that Elliott wasn't feeling 100% and then the next minute, bang, that dreaded message came through, Elliott had been diagnosed with lymphoma and will need chemotherapy. I couldn't comprehend it. No-one could comprehend it. Elliott was diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL).
Up until that point, Elliott was a happy-go-lucky 5 year old. He has a smile that can light up a room. Loyalty comes naturally to him. I spent the best part of a day in the summer, listening to him giggling all around my house. I also remember last year, watching Elliott and my son practising what could only be termed as their own hand shake. I ribbed them for it but I would do anything to watch them do it again tomorrow. There's one small problem, Elliott supports Chelsea FC. let's not dwell on that point, it should be Liverpool FC all the way and I blame his father for that one (sorry Wes!). His family are the most welcoming and generous people that I have ever known. All of this made his diagnosis seem so unfair.
When the news came through of Elliott's diagnosis, the year one mummy group were sharing ideas as to how they could help Elliott and his family. The name Elliott's Army was created. The thinking behind it is that we are all marching with Elliott and his family (Andrea, Wes, Tobias and Jacob) throughout this journey, we are one community. They aren't on their own. We know that Elliott's journey will be a long one and it's already come with its challenges in relation to his treatment.
As part of the Elliott's army idea, I set up a crowdfunding page for a month with the aim of raising £250. We hoped that the money would help to pay for the additional costs. Wow, I underestimated that one! Within 3 weeks we have raised over £2100. We now have 6 months of events planned. The response has been phenomenal, again, I underestimated how much people would get behind this and help us raise the profile of Elliott and the challenges he faces now.
Throughout this journey, Andrea has always said that she would like to raise money that could go directly to something linked to ALCL. As it is so rare, this proved to be a bit of a challenge but I'm not defeated easily. I couldn't find a dedicated charity but I did discover the Super Ru Special Named Fund at CCLG which raises funds for research into ALCL. They have helped me no end. In fact, they replied while holding their son's birthday party.
So here we are, we have created this fund where half of our fundraising proceeds from events will be added here. The money that is put forward for this fund is ringfenced for funding research into ALCL. I'm aiming high with this. I live in the hope that in time, we can help fund the research into this so much, along with other funds like Super Ru, to identify something that can help prevent people having to go through what Elliott and his family are facing. I'm using this aim high, Elliott's Army means business ALCL, we are coming to get you!
Make a donation to Elliott's Army
Open an online fundraising page for Elliott's Army
Set up a regular Direct Debit donation to Elliott's Army
Text CCLG 5 ELLIOTTS ARMY to 70300 to donate £5.
CCLG will receive 100% of your donation. You may also be charged for one text message at your network’s standard or charity rate.
You can make a donation or pay in funds raised by cheque, payable to CCLG, to CCLG, Century House, 24 De Montfort Street, Leicester LE1 7GB. Please ensure you make it clear that the donation is for Elliott's Army so that your donation is allocated to the correct fund.