Ellie Walton, who turned 3 years old in December, is battling brain cancer. However, the disease did not stop her from exploring sights through an unexpected way - postcards from all over the world.
The toddler is currently battling a deadly form of brain cancer, Stage IV glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a highly invasive glioma in the brain. GBMs are characterized by tumors that arise from astrocytes, the star-shaped cells that make up the supportive tissues of the brain. Dubbed as "highly malignant", the cancer cells reproduce rapidly because they are supported by a large network of blood vessels.
The tradition began when Ellie's grandparents sent her and her older sister, Ava, a postcard from Arizona. The girls were delighted upon the sight of the postcard containing a photo of a donkey. Soon after, the sisters started asking for more postcards from other places across the country.
"Words cannot express how grateful I am. Thank you for bringing smiles to my girls," said Sarah, Ellie and Ava's mother, upon receiving a handful of postcards. She has set up a Facebook page, "Prayers for Ellie Walton" to update every one of the toddler's journey and battle against cancer.
Ellie was diagnosed with brain cancer when she was just 4 months old when her mother noticed a lump on her head. The tumor recently mutated which prompted a lot of treatments and surgeries done on the young girl.
Ellie has been through 17 surgeries which included 14 brain surgeries and five removals of tumors. She goes through chemotherapy every other week.
"The state calls [it] terminal cancer," said Sarah Walton.
"It's not terminal for her, though. She's a fighter for sure," she added.
The family received so many postcards that Ellie's older sister, Ava, wants to put them all over her walls. They show Ellie the postcards every night. As of the moment, they already received cards from 47 U.S. states and even from foreign countries.
"Blessed, honored, moved. You all stun me. Postcards from all over! They are so happy!" Sarah posted in Facebook showing off the two girls with the postcards they received.
For those who want to help Ellie, the family has a website for her, which contains her story and the many ways people can help her through her battle with brain cancer.