Grieving mum’s photo of her four-year-old’s last car trip is helping others

Ellie Walton

A grieving mother shared this heartbreaking image of her daughter’s final journey in her car seat, vowing to fight cancer and save other families the pain.

You should be here. We made you a custom urn, you would love it baby girl. Unfortunately temporary urns are just…

Posted by Prayers for Ellie Walton on Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Rare brain cancer

Ellie Walton was diagnosed with a desmoplastic infantile ganglioglioma (astrocytoma) – a rare brain tumour – when she was a tiny 4 months old.

The treatment that followed this devastating diagnosis was relentless, painful and exhausting. Ellie endured 17 surgeries, 28 rounds of chemotherapy and 42 days of radiation in the hope that her life could be saved. Tragically, on January 16 2016, after fighting so hard and so bravely for so long, Ellie died.

She was just 4-years-old.

Prayers for Ellie

Ellie’s mum Sarah Walton has been documenting her daughter’s treatment, and sharing the family’s experience of childhood cancer, via the Facebook page Prayers For Ellie Walton.

Last week she shared a heartbreaking photo of Ellie’s ashes, carefully strapped into her car seat, accompanied by some thoughts on life without her beautiful girl. The devastated mum, obviously struggling to come to terms with this unfathomable loss, explained that buckling up seemed like the right thing to do.

“Driving you home the other day, I was scared, but buckling you in felt normal. Even though none of this is normal, none of this is right. You should be here,” Sarah wrote.

“I want it back”

Sarah went on to share some very sad, very raw feelings about life without her little girl.

“It’s been two months since I last kissed your cheek or played with your hair. It’s been two months of pure torture, agony, and despair. All I want back is our daily life, whatever they entailed, I want it back. I want hospital visits back, and chemo back, I want your laughter, and your joyous heart back. The things that brought my heart so much pain, only a few months ago, I so desperately want back today.”

The idea that other families would endure what her own family had, is simply too much for this grieving mum.

“This will change baby girl, I will make it change. I never want another mom to feel this way, and I will fight for these other kids so that no other mom has to buckle in ashes of their babies,” Sarah posted.

Her words to her daughter remind us of how precious every day with our kiddos is:

“Your life brought me so much joy, and looking back, I’m thankful that I made sure to tell you every single day just how much I loved you. I will forever be grateful to have been your mommy,” Sarah wrote.

Ellie gained the strongest and most beautiful wings this morning around 8:30. Right now I have no words, other than, thank god for making me her momma.

Posted by Prayers for Ellie Walton on Sunday, 15 January 2017


It seems impossible that, as a parent, you might be tasked with caring for your own child’s ashes, yet other parents shared their heartbreakingly similar experiences alongside Sarah’s post.

“I did the same with our daughter’s ashes I know the pain all to well,” one mother wrote.

“My boyfriend lost his daughter in 2011 and a friend of the family had her ashes until he was able to bring her home. Last year for Father’s Day I picked her up and brought her home. I never got to meet her but I know how special she was so I buckled her in right next to me and wrapped my sweater around her for her car ride home to be with her Daddy again,” another commenter posted.

“Staci you aren’t the only one,” one dad commented, tagging his partner.
Nope…I buckled him in!!” she replied.

How to help

We’re truly so fortunate if we have children without serious health issues.

Our hearts go out to Sarah and her family – and other families – who are learning to live with the loss of a precious baby.

The Walton family have faced huge medical bills as they sought treatment for Ellie’s cancer. If you’d like to support this family at a truly difficult time and help cover these costs, head to the family’s MedGift fundraising page. Every little bit counts.

If you’re seeking to find out more about childhood brain cancer, Australian site Cure Brain Cancer has further information and give you the opportunity to donate to their research efforts.

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