At last Friday’s semi final second leg, the Yorkshire Carnegie team showed their support for their local rugby community in Leeds by wearing t-shirts to support the Ella’s Smile fundraising effort.

Ella is a two and a half year old girl whose family are involved at West Park Leeds rugby club, just up the road from Headingley Carnegie Stadium.  Her Dad plays in the senior section of the club, her sister plays in the Ladies Team, her older brother is involved with the U11’s team whilst her Mum is entertainments rep for the U11’s.

Ella has been diagnosed with two tumours.  The first tumour optic glioma (brain tumour) was discovered behind Ella’s left eye. Thankfully this has been diagnosed as being benign.  The second more recent tumour is on her spine.

At the moment, the doctors are monitoring Ella by means of MRI scans and regular eye tests.  However, should either tumour continue to grow or her eyesight is affected or Ella encounters problems with walking she will need treatment immediately.  This will involve the family taking time from work to support her.  This is why we are asking you all to help raise funds for Ella so that she has her family with her.  The family and the doctors are closely monitoring Ella’s condition.

Neither tumour can be operated on due to their location. So the treatment, if she should need it will be chemotherapy for her brain tumour which thankfully can be carried out locally at the Cancer Ward at the LGI in Leeds.  However, should the tumour on her spine grow then the family will have to travel to Guys Hospital in London. The treatment for this would be C-met inhibitor.

Ella’s older brother, Harrison has had to stop playing rugby due to him being diagnosed with hydrocephalus which required him to have urgent brain surgery on two occasions to fit a device to allow fluid to move freely around his brain. The good news is that Harrison has now made a recovery and is now involved in rugby again supporting West Park Leeds and Yorkshire Carnegie.  For the time being Harrison is in good health but will still be monitored on a regular basis.

Ella’s recent scan results were good and showed no signs of growth thankfully. The link with Yorkshire Carnegie came about through Carnegie second row Richard Beck who is a coach at West Park Leeds and knows the family well.

You can find out more information and support Ella’s Smile at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Ellassmile