10-Year-Old Raises Hope and Awareness in Linwood, NJ

linwood massage therapy training programElla Wilson inspires others to give back to their communities

Linwood, NJ: She’s one year older, one year smarter, and one year greater! Ten-year-old Ella Wilson has joined us again at the Harris School in Linwood, bringing with her a great message of hope and kindness. At a young age, Ella was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis, a genetic disorder than can cause tumors to grow throughout the body along the nerves. Ella has had to undergo many months of chemotherapy to treat tumors that are caused by this disorder.

We are so impressed to see how these experiences have made Ella stronger and more compassionate. Today Ella works tirelessly to support neurofibromatosis (NF) research. She raises awareness in a way that only a bright and spunky 10-year old girl can! And not only does she promote NF awareness, but she also shows compassion and commitment to others who are facing illness.

On her agenda this year is a big event. She has planned a Holiday Extravaganza at the Ronald McDonald House in Camden, NJ. Scheduled for December 23, the event will treat the children and their families to a fun-filled afternoon of holiday activities.

Harris School’s Massage Therapy students lend a hand

At Ella’s recent visit to the Linwood campus, she asked us a favor. She wanted to know if our Massage Therapy students could help out at the Ronald McDonald House extravaganza. Of course we agreed right away!

Thanks to the efforts of young Ms. Wilson, we are going to provide free chair massages to the parents of the patients. We are honored to be part of this generous event, and so impressed that Ella takes it upon herself to help others in need, especially when she herself has been through so much medical treatment.

During her recent visit she also talked about her diagnosis and treatment, and explained the disease. Despite the treatment she has endured, she seems to be more concerned about the welfare of others. This December, in addition to the Ronald McDonald House event, she is spreading her idea of the 12 Days of Kindness.

What are the 12 Days of Kindness? Ella has created a 12-day calendar, and for each of the 12 days leading up to Christmas, the calendar shows a different suggested giving event. The calendar is posted on the Hope for Ella Facebook page, in hopes that others will follow her lead. Some of her giving suggestions include:

  • Send cards to local homeless veterans at the Philadelphia Veterans House
  • Donate outgrown books to a local daycare
  • Take a care package to first responders in your town
  • Drop off your letter to Santa at Macy’s, and $1 will go to Make a Wish Foundation

Ella is a terrific ambassador for doing good deeds in the community. Last year she accomplished another big act of kindness. She took one of her creative dreams—writing a book—and turned it into a reality that helps other people with neurofibromatosis. She wrote and published a children’s book called I Sold My Sister. The young author then donated the proceeds from the book to NF research.

One of the NF research organizations that Ella’s work supports is the Children’s Tumor Foundation. Their website explains that neurofibromatosis occurs in one of every 3,000 people worldwide, and it can cause blindness, bone abnormalities, cancer, deafness, disfigurement, learning disabilities, and disabling pain. To learn more about NF, visit the Children’s Tumor Foundation.

The Harris School of Business is happy to be able to support Ella’s Holiday Extravaganza at the Ronald McDonald House, and is fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know such an amazing young person. And a big thanks goes out our students in the Massage Therapy training program who are donating their time to this lovely event. Happy holidays, everyone!