Ellen Tellstrom has spent far too much of her you life in hospital rooms and doctors offices. The 10-year-old suffers from Ehler Danlos Syndrom, which is a connective tissue disorder.
“Her legs are so weak and having such a hard time muscular-wise that she’s not able to run. Sitting on the sideline really wasn’t easy for her because she’s active. She used to play soccer, she used to swim, she used to play, used to ride her bike,” Kathy Tellstrom, Ellen’s mom explained.
Ellen’s body requires a lot of sleep and she’s in constant pain. Her daily routine is a struggle and she’s missed a lot of school. Through the help of the nonprofit organization Team Impact, Ellen’s family has found a special place for her — adopted as the newest member of the Green Bay softball team.
“When she’s with these girls its magical. Because she forgets, she forgets that she’s in pain, forgets that she’s tired, she’s just a kid! She has a smile on her face, they’ve got her dancing, and doing all sorts of things so it’s really been fun for her,” said Tellstrom.
“She comes here and she’s so full of energy and she’s so happy and she’s not like that at home. She’s just in so much pain and it’s like that disapears when she comes here. It’s just nice that we can be able to do that for her,” said Phoenix catcher Ashley Baker.
Ellen attends practices when she can and will serve as the team’s batgirl for home games. But it’s not just about staying active.. it’s also about the relationships.
“She sees there are people out in the world that care about her, and invest in her and believe in her and kinda pick her up. And they’ve done an amazing job doing all of those things already, and we’ve only just begun,” said Tellstrom.
It’s easy to see what Ellen is getting out of this wonderful experience, but it turns out her new teammates are just as grateful.
“I think she’s taught us that being strong means a lot in life and she might be younger than us but we have a lot to learn from her,” explained Phoenix infielder Alyssa Johnson.
“She is really teaching us more than anything. Teaching us how to cope with hard things in life and how to push thru and how to be happy. She’s truely a blessing in our life,” said Baker.