16 April 2015
Ella is nine years old and driving a fundraising initiative to support her 79 year old Great Grandfather.
In 2012, Ronald McCulloch went to the doctors for his annual diabetes check up. Tests showed he was anaemic and following a colonoscopy and endoscopy, he was diagnosed with bowel cancer on his 76th birthday.
Before they could operate, Ronald also received some bad news about his heart and was admitted to hospital for a quadruple bypass.
Six weeks after his first surgery, Ronald was able to have a piece of his bowel removed and chemotherapy followed.
“I was very nervous and scared when I was diagnosed - I didn’t know what to think,” Ronald said.
It was a real shock for the family, and particularly hurt Ronald’s seven year old Great Granddaughter Ella.
“I love Great Grandpa so much. He is a very loving and caring man who spoils me a lot!,” Ella said.
“When he was sick, I visited him in hospital every day and looked after him when I could until he recovered.”
At 79, Ronald has been given the all clear for the next six months and to celebrate his recovery, Ella has decided to raise money for bowel cancer research for Cancer Council SA.
“I wanted to raise money for bowel cancer because I saw what Great Grandpa went through. He survived it and I would love to see more research done so more people can beat bowel cancer too.”
“I think more people should get involved and help so maybe one day we can find a cure for cancer,” she added.
Ronald is incredibly proud of his Great Granddaughter.
“Ella is a fun loving, caring little girl who keeps me fit and healthy. She is gorgeous and very kind and generous,” he said.
Cancer Council SA Chief Executive, Professor Brenda Wilson, says community fundraisers like Ella were really making a difference in the fight to beat cancer.
“At Cancer Council, we believe that no-one should lose a loved one to cancer and community fundraising plays a vital part in raising much needed funds for cancer research, prevention and support services,” Professor Wilson said.
“We thank Ella for her wonderful commitment and enthusiasm in supporting Cancer Council SA and wish her well with her fundraising efforts.
“Thanks to the united efforts in research in Australia over the past 20 years, we have seen almost 61,000 lives saved.
“That’s 61,000 mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters still here with their loved ones.”
Ronald urges other people to listen to their bodies and get checked regularly.
“I want other people to not ignore any symptoms that your body tells you and always seek medical advice – you never know, it might save your life!,” he added.
The McCulloch family will be holding a garage sale on Saturday April 18.
Ella is really looking forward to the event where she can make a difference and support her dear Great Grandpa.
“I couldn’t image my life without him. He is my hero.”
To donate, or to host your own fundraiser, visit cancersa.org.au