Meet Eleanor

Name: Eleanor
Diagnosis: Acute Myeloid Leukemia
Age: 2
Fun facts: I love to dance, play in water and be the center of attention. I have tons of determination that will take me far in life.
Favorite holiday: My birthday because all of the attention is on me!
Favorite celebrity: JJ from Cocomelon
If I could have any superpower, it would be: To be able to fly
When I grow up I want to be: A performer! Maybe a Broadway star!
I am proud to be a Children's Champion because: It is important to share in case someone out there is feeling alone in their journey. Maybe telling my story will make them feel seen. Also, to show people that cancer can happen to anyone, even kids!

Bio:

The youngest of three, 2-year-old Eleanor's mom describes her as the biggest ball of fire in the smallest little body who refuses to take no for an answer. Always the comedian, her dad says that she's destined to be a performer when she gets older.

About a week after Eleanor was born, she was diagnosed with Down syndrome, a genetic disorder known to cause cognitive delays and mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. She was also diagnosed with transient myeloproliferative disorder (TMD), which occurs in about 20% of patients with Down syndrome. It's unique to those with Down syndrome and automatically increased her chance of developing leukemia. Because of the known risks, Eleanor's medical team required routine blood work regularly to monitor her condition. Unfortunately, around 18 months, Eleanor's results started to change, and she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndromes and acute myeloid leukemia (MDS-AML) in September 2020.

Because of her TMD diagnosis, her parents knew that leukemia would be an unfortunate possibility and felt they were prepared to receive the devastating news. Children diagnosed with Down syndrome also have high rates of beating MDS-AML and statistically handling chemotherapy treatments quite well.

To cure Eleanor's cancer, she was required to undergo six rounds of inpatient chemotherapy at St. Louis Children's. Each round lasted about a month, which meant leaving her older siblings at home and her parents splitting their time between home and the hospital. In true Eleanor fashion, she remained high spirited — sick one minute and dancing along to her favorite songs the next — even through the nausea, vomiting and pain of her treatments.

Thankfully, her care team has been with Eleanor throughout her journey as Children's has been her home away from home. Because of her longs stays, her team was determined that Eleanor would continue to make progress in other areas, like her developmental and emotional growth, to ensure they were treating the whole child, not just her illness. They allowed her to thrive while letting her race through the halls using her walker or playing with bubbles in her room.

Eleanor was finally able to ring the bell, signifying the end of her cancer treatment, in June 2021 and go home to be with the rest of her family. She will still come to Children's regularly for follow-up care, but the hope is that her cancer is gone for good.

Donate to help more kids like Eleanor

Because of You:

Donor-funded research is being done right here at St. Louis Children's Hospital developing technology allowing physicians to detect cell mutations — the same cell mutations that caused Eleanor's leukemia — with a minute number of unhealthy cells. This helps our physician-scientists understand the disease process further and develop the most precise treatment plans for patients like Eleanor.

Watch Eleanor's Story: