Harris School of Business Raises Neurofibromatosis Awareness with “Hope for Ella”

massage therapy students donate chair massages for Ella WilsonStudents at the Linwood branch donate chair massage proceeds to the cause

Linwood, N.J. – A nine-year old girl from Williamstown, NJ is the source of inspiration for many people who have the pleasure to meet her. Ella Wilson is a bubbly, charismatic, and enthusiastic girl who has been leading an awareness and fundraising campaign for Neurofibromatosis. Diagnosed with this condition at a young age, Ella has undergone 16 months of chemotherapy to treat the brain tumors caused by the disorder.

Students at the Linwood campus of the Harris School of Business were fortunate enough to meet Ella in person. This May, during Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month, Ella visited the campus, and spoke about perseverance and beating the odds. At just 9 years old, she is a powerful advocate for keeping a positive attitude and living life to the fullest.

In conjunction with Ella’s visit with the campus, the students in the Massage Therapy program held a special fundraising event for “Hope for Ella”—the organization that Ella’s family created in her name. The fundraiser was a chair massage donation day, where the cost of each chair massage was donated to “Hope for Ella.” By the end of the day, the massage therapy students had delivered a lot of massages and raised $150 for “Hope for Ella.”

“Our students were so inspired by Ella’s positive outlook and her understanding of NF,” said Megan Shirley, campus director at the Linwood campus. “By holding the chair massage event to support ‘Hope for Ella,’ we were able to raise both money and awareness about NF,” Shirley continued. “We could not be more proud to be part of this great cause.”

“Hope for Ella” raises money for two organizations: the Children’s Tumor Foundation and Camp Sunshine. The Children’s Tumor Foundation is dedicated to raising funds for research into treating and finding a cure for neurofibromatosis. Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that can cause tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body, and it occurs in one of every 3,000 people worldwide. It can lead to blindness, bone abnormalities, cancer, deafness, disfigurement, learning disabilities, and disabling pain.

Camp Sunshine is located in Casco, Maine. It is a year-round retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. The program is free-of charge and includes 24-hour medical support.

So far, Ella’s efforts have helped raise over $32,000! If there’s one thing to know about this young girl named Ella, it’s that she loves to help other people. In addition to her work with NF awareness, she has participated in numerous volunteer activities. And next up, she wants to continue to spread her positive outlook by becoming a children’s book author. And guess what…she has already published her first book!

Ella will be holding a book launch on June 6 at Sal Vito’s Pizzeria in the Ritz Shopping Center in Voorhees from 11am-1pm. Later that day, she will perform at the Camden Riversharks game where she will read a page from the book on the field. She will be also signing books on the concourse. Some of the proceeds from her book sale will benefit the Children’s Tumor foundation and Camp Sunshine.

If you are interested in learning more about this inspiring young girl, visit https://www.facebook.com/HopeForElla.

The Harris School of Business is proud to be a part of helping “Hope for Ella” in the fight against NF. We want to thank our massage therapy students who participated in the chair massage donation event, and we wish Ella and her family the best of luck and the brightest of futures.