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Help Our Kids: Ellie's Family Gives Back

A volunteer with a big heart

At just 2 months old, Ellie was back at Children’s Mercy for the third time. Her mom and dad noticed a small lump on the back of her head soon after she was born, and she was was quickly referred to Children's Mercy by their pediatrician. What followed was a whirlwind of tests and appointments before surgery was scheduled to remove the mass just days later. 


Waiting for Ellie to wake up from her final pre-operative MRI, her mom Jennifer was an anxious, emotional wreck. After being called in to get Ellie’s test results, Jennifer, in tears, ran into a Children’s Mercy clown who was entertaining some children on the same floor. 

The friendly clown came right over to Ellie and took out a light-up toy. Ellie was so amazed and perked right up. “Then the volunteer took a wooden rose from her pocket and handed it to me,” Jennifer said. “She didn’t say a word. Her smile said it all.” 

Unexpectedly, the clown then invited Jennifer into the hall. She reached up and gave Jennifer a warm, loving embrace and shared words of encouragement: “Everything will be ok, you’ll see,” the clown said. 

And it was. Ellie’s mass had turned into scar tissue and no surgery would be needed after all. 

Jennifer will never forget that kind clown, her words and the comfort she provided to Ellie and her mom. “Volunteers like her are there to comfort the children,” Jennifer said, “but the parents feel that comfort too.” 

Small acts of kindness and compassion by staff at Children’s Mercy make a world of difference to parents and patients alike. And it’s all made possible by the generosity of people like you.

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