Ella Pinney, Christie patient

2 years ago, 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 and the medical community still don’t know much about it.

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 and brachytherapy.

Throughout her treatment, Ella’s kept going, even in her darkest moments. Her main frustration has been 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 the year has given 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.
“In the last 3 and a half years, 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

Donate to The Ella Project today

You can hear more about Ella’s story in the video below.

Ella is also supporting The Christie's efforts to tackle Manchester's cancer care challenge - that's the expected increase of patients as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.