One of life’s most incomprehensible blows is losing a child, but one Rhinelander family has taken that tragedy and made a positive difference one can at a time. Rick Ellis and his family, along with Barb Estabrook, have been collecting aluminum cans since their daughter and granddaughter, Ashley, died of a brain tumor in 1989. The money they have raised over the years has been donated to the Ronald McDonald House charities. Their efforts have resulted in collecting more than 6,000 pounds of cans and raising $3,000 for the charity.
The family will be featured in one of the Star Journal’s inserts, USA Weekend this Sunday, April 15. In addition they will travel to Washington D.C. on April 19 for an awards ceremony along with nine other Make a Difference Day winners from across the country. Actor Kevin Bacon will give the keynote address and the family is looking forward to seeing and experiencing the nation’s capitol.
Ashley Ellis was only 21/2 years old when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Much of her treatment was in Marshfield, and her parents Kela and Rick, spent many days at the Ronald McDonald house while the little girl fought to survive. Ashley eventually succumbed to her disease in April of 1989.
“I don’t know what we would have done without the support of the Ronald McDonald house,” said Kela.
Associate editor Mary Ann Doyle is available at email@example.com.