Ella Pinney, Christie patient
In early 2017, Ella was content balancing time between her job and time with her husband James and daughter Olivia. But a routine trip to her GP changed all that.
Ella thought she just had a minor cough but was stunned to receive a diagnosis of advanced Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC). ACC is a rare head and neck cancer that the medical community still don’t know much about.
Because of this lack of knowledge, it’s difficult to treat ACC. Ella went through a lot of treatments, including 2 major operations, multiple rounds of radiotherapy, immunotherapy, brachytherapy, targeted drugs and chemotherapy.
Throughout her treatment, Ella kept going, even in her darkest moments. Her main frustration was always the lack of treatment options for ACC.
That’s why The Ella Project research is named after her – to highlight Ella’s determination that ACC patients in the future will have more treatment options.
“Every day has been difficult since. I’ve mourned the loss of many things. The scariest of all being ‘Will I get to watch my daughters Olivia and Sienna grow up?’
“But after every operation and every treatment, Olivia has been the best tonic to all of this. And the more recent arrival of our second daughter Sienna at the start of 2020 gave us an incredible boost.
“I’ve also had my amazing husband James by my side through it all. He’s been with me at every appointment and every scan.
“Through our 5 years battling ACC, James and I have seen how difficult life can be, but we’ve also had a lifetime of love and support.
“Our friends, family and colleagues are all supporting The Ella Project. I hope you will too because this project is the only hope of discovering more effective drug treatments for people like us.
“Thank you for anything that you can give.”
- Christie patient Ella Pinney
Sadly, Ella died in December 2021, leaving James, Olivia, Sienna and so many others totally heartbroken. Ella was always determined to do all she could to change the outlook for ACC sufferers, both for herself and others.
The Ella Project is a lasting legacy for Ella, which her family hope will one day deliver on her greatest wish of finding a cure for ACC.