On February 14, 2013, two-year Ellie Blaine was diagnozed with pineoblastoma, a tumor on the pineal gland. After having surgery at University of Virginia Medical Center to remove as much of the tumor as possible, Ellie was a St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis Tennessee. After 9 months of treatments, she came home to live her remaining days with her family.
Ellie’s Elves helped the family with meals and baby supplies for a new baby Sarah-Grace. And Big brother Noah appreciated the food and extra attention! The family put in a request to Santa to ahve an early Christmas, so gifts were given by Elves as well. Ellie went to be with the Lord on December 22, 2013, about a month shy of her 3rd birthday. And Ellie’s Elves went into action again.
At Ellie’s family night at her church in Orange VA, the family and friends were greeted by an amazing display of hundreds of pink luminaries, lining the driveway up to Zion Baptist Church. Many elves kept the lights shining for several hours in the very cold December temperatures, thanks to head elf, Joni. The volunteers consisted of school employees, FBI agents, elderly church women, local moms and kids. They wanted to let the family know how much they were loved and how Ellie’s light brought God’s light out of each of them.
In her blog, Ellie’s mom, Carly wrote:
“As we approached our church Thursday night for family night, I felt like I couldn’t breathe, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, I had no idea who would be there, but as we turned the corner, I saw this…”
“This was an amazing labor of love. I know it wasn’t warm outside, but these wonderful Elves were there making sure those lights stayed lit. I know one little girl who loved Christmas lights, would have adored these.Carly Blaine’s Blog, “Life on the Ark”
Ellie is the light of our lives. We are determined to continue her legacy and shine every day. Ellie’s favorite song was, “This Little Light of Mine.” If you are familiar with the lyrics, you know that one of the verses says…Hide it under a bushel, No! I’m gonna let it shine.” Well, that’s what we want to do with Ellie’s Elves…we want to…Let it Shine!
Written by Ellie’s Nanna, Tina Renninger with excerpts from Carly Blaine’s Blog, “Life on the Ark” | October 29, 2023