Ella, ‘pride of Winsor Hill,’ helps kick off cancer awareness campaign

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Winsor Hill Elementary School’s close-knit community held yet another special salute, a “campaign kick off” as Susan K. Parillo called it, last week.

“This something we’ve been doing in recent years,” Parillo, who doubles as Winsor Hill’s Health and Physical Education Teacher and Head Cheerleading Coach at Johnston High School, began. “It’s our annual campaign for Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.”

Parillo, her voice cracking with emotion, offered: “This is especially special to our school this year; we have a first grade warrior just finishing her treatment.”

Thus, Winsor Hill celebrated Ella Watters for what Parillo called “her courage and Pediatric Cancer awareness” that included several speeches from adults and students doing dances to mush entitled “Whip Away Cancer! It was all very, very touching.”

“Ella was diagnosed with localized Ewings Sarcoma in February of this year, halfway through kindergarten,” a letter her mother Tracy Watters sent to Winsor School officials began. “Ella had several surgeries, one to remove most of the tumor and several biopsies. She then started chemotherapy in March.”

In all, Parillo reported, “Ella completed seven rounds of chemotherapy at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.”

Her mother also wrote: “We moved to Boston in June and Ella completed 28 rounds of proton therapy and three more rounds of chemotherapy at Mass General Hospital.”

Just recently, Ella just completed her 14th round of Chemotherapy at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.”

To which Parillo added, upon receiving word from Tracy Watters: “As of today, Ella’s scans are clear. She is a highly spirited child and through it all she remains happy and determined to beat this awful disease.”

And that, Parillo wanted it known: “Is why we kicked off our annual campaign in Ella’s honor.”

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