Angels for Lila May

Update on Lila May, 10/29/2015

Surrounded by an incredible outpouring of love, prayers and encouraging words from all over the world, and encircled by her loving family, Lila May has made the brave journey from this life into her angelic life where she is dancing with the angels. In fact, many who knew this energetic little girl believe she is showing them some new dance moves.

In her short five-year life on this Earth, Lila May touched thousands of lives and has given hope and inspiration to many. While undergoing her numerous and lengthy treatments in the Children's Hospital, she could be seen marching down the hall, her rolling IV tree trailing behind her as she headed into other children cancer patient rooms to keep them company and give them a pep talk telling them to "kick cancer's butt!"

An Oregon man paddled 68 miles from Hood River, Oregon to Portland, Oregon in one day "taking her with him" in his heart. Elsewhere throughout the United States and all around the world, people ran, walked and biked thousands of miles, raising money on her behalf, and of course Ellen and her husband Kage, made and sold beautiful jewelry for her fundraising efforts. The entire town of Hood River, Oregon adopted her as their own and they were there for her every step of the way.

Through these fundraising efforts, the family was able to travel across the country to obtain treatment available only at those special locations and this afforded Lila May a quality of life she would not otherwise have had. Throughout Lila's journey, she has blessed many, and she and her family were blessed in return by the unwavering support given to them.

Fundraisers make a huge difference.

Ellen and her family are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love shown to Lila May during her short life, and while their hearts are grieving, they are also full of thankfulness for this show of support.

Lila May was given newly approved treatments that prolonged her quality of life and allowed her to enjoy her remaining time with her family and friends beyond what she would have had without these new medical advancements. With 1,000 new cases of Neuroblastoma per year in the United States, it's imperative we continue to support research to cure this terrible childhood disease and support those foundations that make final wishes come true for children like Lila.

Lila May's family has asked that if anyone would like to remember Lila May through donations that they be sent in her name to the following organizations:
  • http://ellefoundation.org/
  • www.heartofhospice.org - Heart of Hospice
  • www.ellefoundation.org Elle Foundation - granting terminal kids a "last wish"
  • www.sierrarayn.org - Sierra Rayn - furthering research in curing Neuroblastoma
As Seen in the October 2015 Supplement Catalog


by Dan Day, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Ellen, manager of the Information Technology team at Fire Mountain Gems, is supporting a personal cause by making and selling jewelry created using the company's exclusive brand of Almost Instant Jewelry®.

Almost Instant Jewelry Swarovski Fancy Stone Ring In September of 2012, just after her second birthday, Ellen's granddaughter Lila May was diagnosed with a devastating childhood cancer called neuroblastoma. There was no warning; no behavioral changes; no visual evidence of cancer. One day she was fine; one day she wasn't. The "terrible twos" had a much different meaning for Lila May.

Ellen's favorite Fire Mountain Gems product to make to support her cause is the Almost Instant Jewelry line. Ellen is able to craft beautiful pieces of jewelry in just minutes.

"My favorite earring style is the Classical Cushion that's already mounted to the earwire. All I do is add a Swarovski crystal and a little bit of Araldite glue, and I have a stunning pair of sparkling earrings that took no time to make."
- Ellen

In the U.S. alone, approximately 700 children each year are diagnosed with neuroblastoma, and one child dies every 16 hours worldwide from this disease. Lila underwent chemotherapy, tumor removal surgery, radiation, a stem cell replacement and immunotherapy. While Lila has been in remission twice, the doctors have recently discovered a new brain tumor which has caused the loss of hearing in her left ear. The cancer has also migrated to her bones.

Lila is undergoing a new experimental treatment in Michigan (she lives in Oregon). Lila also tried an experimental treatment in New York, but unfortunately, that one did not prove helpful for her. Medical and travel expenses have been exorbitant.
Almost Instant Jewelry Swarovski Fancy Stone Earrings and Araldite® Standard Epoxy

Lila May Participating in

Photo by Ray Perkins

"Having a granddaughter with life-threatening cancer is so unbelievably hard to face, but making and selling jewelry allows us to focus on the positive. We have received so many blessings through all of it."
- Ellen

Lila May's supporters have organized two "tutu" trots in Hood River, Oregon, organized worldwide virtual runs and raised awareness about neuroblastoma to all who subscribed to her web page. The response to her plight has been overwhelming and humbling. From all over the globe, words of encouragement, financial support, cards, prayers and gifts have owed in. No matter how bad Lila May is feeling, she perks up at the presence of cards addressed to her. If you would like to send Lila May some words of hope, please write to her at: Lila May, c/o Ellen Smith, P.O. Box 597, Gold Hill, OR 97525.

"Around Christmas time, I was looking at the boxes of jewelry I had assembled over the past few years and had an epiphany: I can start selling this jewelry for Lila May online! It will help raise money for her medical expenses, keep satisfying my jewelry-making addiction and allow others to obtain beautiful jewelry with a cause. It was a win-win-win. Oh, and I could also involve my husband for the photography, assembly and shipping--tasks in which he was thrilled to have, to help Lila's medical fund. That makes it a quadruple win!"
- Ellen

Photo by Ray Perkins

Lila has a therapy dog named Chloe (half Dachshund, half Chihuahua), and that little pup goes everywhere with Lila.
Photo by Ray Perkins

Photo by Gorgue-Us Photography, Hood River, Oregon

"In this world, we tend to only hear of bad things, but having a granddaughter with cancer has given us an opportunity to see so much good in the world. People are so generous, loving, and supportive--things we need to see more on the news."
- Ellen

Ellen Smith and Family Participating in the Tutu Trot In Hood River, Oregon

Photo by Ray Perkins

Lila May's Fire Mountain Gems family are often heard in the company's hallways sharing words of encouragement, concern, love and prayers with her Grandma Ellen. Chris and Stuart have kept a close watch on the progress of Lila May's fight and continue their encouragement to the family.

The family posts updates about her fight through their Facebook page "Angels for Lila May."

Ellen encourages people to post pictures on the websitewearing their new beautiful pieces. Every few days she tries to add some new pieces to keep things fresh.
Ellen Smith and Family Participating in the Tutu Trot In Hood River, Oregon
Ellen and her husband Kage sell jewelry through their website
ParkilyThingsforLila.com
yes, that's "parkily" because, when she was younger, Lila May would often exclaim,
"I love parkily things."

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