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Ellie’s Story: Making the Big ‘C’ Smaller

From October, Oncovia will be putting in place regular giveaways with the British charity, Ellie’s Friends to support those who are suffering financially and psychologically follow their cancer diagnosis. 

To get to know the story behind this great initiative, read our interview below:

Who is Ellie and what is her story?

Ellie was born in Middlesbrough in 1983 and attended secondary school in Marske and Guisborough in North Yorkshire before studying broadcast journalism at Leeds University.

She was a determined and dedicated journalist and quickly progressed from reading the news on local radio to reporting for Tyne Tees Television before going on to work in London and Sky and ITN as both reporter and producer.

She was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2010 and it was after her diagnosis with secondary metastases of the bone in May 2011 that Ellie started a blog, Written Off, in which she described her experiences and feelings as she underwent a number of debilitating treatments.

Although Ellie passed away on May 18th, 2012 she will never be forgotten by anyone who met her.

What is Ellie’s Friends?


Ellie’s Friends is dedicated to improving the lives of adults (16+) living with cancer, all around the UK. We provide frequent freebies from caring businesses and individuals, to offset some of the financial and psychological impact of a cancer diagnosis.

Being diagnosed with cancer is just the start of an incredibly difficult experience – there are so many pressures that are rarely mentioned: the financial impact of having to give up work, paying for trips to the hospital, healthier food; the eternal boredom and depression that sets in during recovery from chemo.

When and how did it start?

We do what we can to continue the vision of Ellie Jeffery, who wanted to “Make the Big C Smaller”. Ellie’s Friends was launched in 2014.

Who does Ellie’s Friends target?

Adults aged 16+ throughout the UK.

What is their mission?

To Make the Big C Smaller. We help to reinstate ‘treats’ and give our registered users a bit of a lift at a difficult time. From days out with friends or family to special packages delivered in the post.


What kind of Freebies do you offer?

See www.elliesfriends.org/freebies for all current offers!

Theatre tickets, book bundles, CD packages, restaurant vouchers, beauty and holistic treatments…

How do you choose the winners?

By random prize draw. But if you are unsuccessful you are free to apply when the offer is relisted (generally the following month) and as many times as you would like.

What has feedback been like since you started this Charity?

Incredible. We are blown away by the positive feedback we receive.

See: https://www.elliesfriends.org/blog/562f5eed2ea71f0b00e3e373

How can people get involved?

Businesses can donate vouchers or products to adults living with cancer in their area. We are always looking for volunteers to help us approach businesses in their area too! Our Ellie’s Army volunteer force is on a mission to Make the Big C Smaller in the UK. If you are interested in finding out more please email Alexis@elliesfriends.org 

Follow Ellie’s Friends on:

Twitter: @ElliesFriends

Facebook: @EleanorRoseFoundation

Instagram: @elliesfriends

Website: https://www.elliesfriends.org/


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