Students and staff stand by junior fighting cancer

Class of 2017 member Adrian Ell was recently been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and is currently undergoing treatment.

Her diagnosis came in July when she was beginning to prepare for volleyball conditioning and the beginning of her junior year. “My reaction to being diagnosed with cancer was shocked and scared because I had been training hard all spring and summer.  I even went to Florida State’s camp.  I was also scared that I would lose my scholarship to Florida State, but I was quickly reassured by my doctors that I would be able to play at the same level again,” Adrian said.

At the end of the school year Adrian had a really bad cough, but said she didn’t think much of it.  She eventually went to the doctor but after trying multiple different antibiotics and none of them working, she got a chest X-Ray that revealed a large mass in her chest cavity.  She was then sent to Children’s Hospital for further testing to discover she had cancer.

Ell is only taking four classes right now, and keeps up on homework that the rest of the class does, but she said she sometimes gets behind depending on how she is feeling from her treatments.  She said that it his hard because she misses out on class discussions and interacting with the other students and teachers.

“The prayers mean a lot to me, as well as the kind words from people that I barely know; it helps me to keep pushing through.  I feel the support from the community, and it is a great feeling to have so many people in my corner of the fight,” she said.

She plans to return to school in the early months of 2016, but her doctors plan on taking more tests in September, so they will have a more accurate estimate then.  They are dedicating a volleyball game to Ell with all the money raised at that game to benefit her and help with medical costs.  The game is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 6, 2015.

“I would like to especially thank Sara Crooker, Grace Turner, Paxton Albrinck, and Gracie Rudolph for being there when I needed support or cheering up.  They always make the hard times easier,” she said.

Anyone who would like to send Ell a note of encouragement can do so by dropping it off to her guidance counselor Mrs. Cindy Nelson.

Adrian and her future teammates from Florida State
Junior Adrian Ell visits future teammates from Florida State over the summer.  “The doctors reassured me that I would be back on the court as an elite athlete as soon as I was cured,” Adrian said.
Junior Adrian Ell got to meet professional football player Devon Still. Devon also has a daughter fighting cancer so they could relate to each other.
Junior Adrian Ell got to meet professional football player Devon Still. Still also has a daughter fighting cancer so they could relate to each other.
Ell and the McNicholas women's volleyball team spend time together after finding out Adrian had cancer. "The prayers from everyone mean a lot to me, as long as the kind words from people I barely know, it helps me to keep pushing through," Ell said.
Ell and the McNicholas women’s volleyball team spend time together after finding out Adrian has cancer. “The prayers from everyone mean a lot to me, as long as the kind words from people I barely know, it helps me to keep pushing through,” Ell said.

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