Ellix is a 4 year old cancer warrior from Apple Valley, Ca. Him and his family make it a point to spread good in any way that they can, even while going through hardship themselves with Ellix's diagnosis. Kadie and I(Brodi) got to attend Ellix's Blood Drive a couple weeks back, and I was so excited to ask their family these next few questions.

Why is it important for your family to spread good?

Jess (Ellix's Mom): There are moments in life that change us. How we embrace the change is what defines our purpose in life. Doing good onto others really only feels like a necessary part of living, now, after everything we’ve seen.
For me (Jess) Ellix’s diagnosis put life into perspective. We wasted so much by living for material items. Working non stop, barely able to pay bills, never saw our children and miserable. For what? Where would that leave our memory when we’re gone and what did that teach our children? Life is so fragile, if you want to make a difference you have to live with purpose every second and every opportunity and not take a moment for granted. I’m not perfect, I definitely miss the mark sometimes. But after I heard my son had cancer, doing good things gets me out of bed on hard days, and distracts me from all the pain I watch my family go through.
I knew we had to make our lives about leaving a legacy of kindness on this planet, not on what was in our bank account. No matter how small, we will do good to make a difference, because that’s what so many people have done for us. We wouldn’t have made it to where we’re at in our lives without so many kind people, some were even strangers. Sometimes when you feel hopeless, all it takes is one person to change that.

Nick(Ellix's Dad): I feel like spreading good is important! I want to pay the good forward that our family has received. It made all the difference in our lives when we had no sleep, lack of hope. All of these people, some even strangers, that have helped us; Financially, fun trips, a home to live in, presents for our kids, homemade meals, gas, blood donation…

Zoie(Ellix's Sister): It feels nice. Some people just need you to make a difference to help make their life better. And I want to do that.

Ellix: It's fun! Because they’re my friends.

Why did we host Ellix’s blood drive?

I (Jess) felt like I needed to do something. I was reading posts of other families whose children’s transfusions were being held due to shortage, resulting in chemo holds and extended hospitalizations. I figured there had to be a connection for a blood drive at my work. I knew the reality of the need for blood was huge, the fact that blood centers couldn’t collect for some time due to Covid really put a stress on the blood banks in our country and then the limitations for scheduling due to social distancing has not helped currently. It just had to happen. I knew that having Ellixs story would bring some attention and it also helped us share some pediatric cancer awareness! We managed to save around 60 peoples lives that day and hopefully open some eyes to pediatric cancer! It was really nice that it was for Ellix and his friends as he calls everyone.

What are our hopes in sharing your journey?

We want people to know what this journey is like, why it needs to change. We want to find others in our situations and help offer support or a relatable story. At first we didn’t have any social media in relation to Ellix and we only shared a gofundme with family and friends. Less than 2 months into Ellix's treatment, he was in liver failure; those moments in the hospital changed us. I’ve never had a chaplain come to the bedside of someone I love. Yet there they were, at my sons. I had never spent moments alone in a hospital church, but there I was pleading for my own son. While Ellix was being wheeled to an ultrasound We (Mom and Dad) heard a mother lose her child. We were right outside her door, by chance, while walking to an ultrasound for Ellix's failing liver. The pain in her cries, the absolute agony in her voice. I still can’t walk by that room on the inpatient floor and when I look in that direction, my heart hurts for that mom. Our nurse had to hug me and cover my ears as we walked by, because she knew what we were going through was already breaking us. Those moments in the hospital are one of the first times I realized this wasn’t going to be easy, on us or anyone we were going to meet on that floor. I realized that society had lied to me about their being hope in pediatric cancer. That combined with my son being so sick and doctors not knowing for sure how to fix him. I just knew, his story needed to be told, since he was only 3, I was going to be the one to tell it. I knew I owed it to the mom and child in that room, that I never met. 

I am so inspired by Ellix and his family, and am so grateful to have them part of The Spread Good Squad!

We have launched this limited edition #EllixsSupportSquad shirt
, and his family has chosen to donate the proceeds to Campaign One At A Time & Fight Like Our Kids Bereaved Families Program!
Be sure to order your shirt soon, as they are only available until September 14th! 

Let's keep spreading good like Ellix!

Written By Brodi Nicholas and Jessica Gilman
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