If you were a kid, and you were sick – like really sick – what would you do? I know, tough question. Impossible question.
I wonder if I’d just refuse to get out of bed. Cry. Get angry. Hard to say, right?
I’ll tell you what 8-year-old Ella Wintringer is doing. She’s helping other kids. Here’s a bit of Ella’s backstory. (Oh, and yes – if the name sounds familiar – it is. I first met Ella and her family years ago when I did a story on her. I was so impressed with the little sweetie. I adore this little girl. She is a true inspiration to me. Truly. So, when I had my sweet baby – the name Ella kept coming into my head. And just like that – we had our own sweet Ella.)
Anyway, back to Ella W.
A few years ago, after countless doctor visits, procedures, pain, hospital stays, and way too much suffering – Ella was diagnosed with a rare motility disorder. (A painful condition in which the patient suffers from bloating, pain, nausea, and vomiting – as a result of intestinal muscle issues – that wreak havoc on the entire digestive system).
Ella has traveled to Boston and other areas for treatment. Her parents, Nate and Jamie Wintringer – unbelievable advocates for their little girl -finally found help at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Motility Center in Columbus, Ohio – where Ella now goes for diagnostic testing and treatment.
It’s become a very special place to Ella and her family. They’ve taken part in activities and helped to raise funds for research. It’s their way of showing gratitude and giving back.
Ella has her own way. She’s making totes for kids at the hospital. Totes filled with crafts, toys and other fun stuff for kids – as well as a BRAVE medal. A BRAVE medal is a race medal given from an athlete to a sick child. It may be just another medal from an awesome run for the athlete – but – Ella’s mom, Jamie – says it means a great deal to a child who’s been sick, going through painful and uncomfortable procedures, “This medal provides the strength and courage they need to face their challenges. I would run for Ella and give her my medals. They became her BRAVE medals and Ella wants to share that with others.”
So, come this spring – Ella will bring the totes with her as she heads to Nationwide for her testing. She will make these kids smile, feel brave – and show them that they are not alone. Jamie says it all means a great deal, “Often these children have been suffering for a long time undiagnosed, so to be welcomed with a fun-filled tote and medal is going to bring so much joy to the child. We want to make a difference for motility children and help ease the pain of the testing with something to distract the child.”
The community is – of course – already stepping in to help.
Ella will turn 9 on February 20th. Yes, she’s not even 9 yet and she’s doing this amazing thing. Imagine what she will do as she gets older.
Here’s how you can help sweet Ella:
- Donate race medals from various runs (5k, 10k, half and full marathon, etc).
- Be a sponsor – for $20, you can help make a sick child smile, filling that tote with fun things to help kids take their mind off of their illness and pain.
If you’d like to help, visit Ella’s Facebook page.
Ella, thank you for reminding us that giving back is what matters most in life. Helping others is a gift – to you and them.