Last week, after doctors told Hamilton man Ian Clark that his daughter only had days left to live, he realized that the Frozen-obsessed little girl would likely not survive to see the sequel. He turned to the internet for help, posting on Reddit, a popular discussion website.
“I don’t know if this is the right place to look or even possible. My 5 year old daughter is dying of complications from cancer. She doesn’t have long left to live. Does anyone know of any way to get a copy of Frozen 2 that I can play for her at our hospital? Frozen is her absolute favourite. I will take any way I can to let her see this to bring her one last high point before the end.”
His daughter “likely won’t make it” to the movie’s official release date, Nov. 22, he added. “I know this is a long shot but I want to try.”
Frozen was the first movie Ellery Clark ever experienced. She was only three weeks old.
“We were driving back from a family get together and passed by a drive-in and thought what the hell,” her mother, Ariane, wrote on Facebook. “I can’t say whether she liked it or not, but she didn’t cry, and that’s saying something for a tiny, squawky Ellery. It’s fair to say she’s been mildly obsessed her entire life.”
The first time she went trick-or-treating, Ellery asked her mother to make her an Elsa costume.
“I hand cut paper snowflake stencils and our entire house ended up covered in glitter. She had the best time,” Ariane wrote.
Ellery was diagnosed with stage four alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer, near the end of May.
“The prognosis was poor right from the start with the odds heavily against her making it through this,” Ian explained in an e-mail.
After undergoing chemotherapy, Ellery began to suffer from occlusive disease, a rare side effect of treatment. Her liver failed as a result and she developed a blood infection.
“Just over a week ago, we were told by our doctors that she likely had days to a week or two left to live,” Ian said.
That’s when he went to Reddit to plead for help.
His story quickly spread through social media.
When Josh Gad, the actor who voices the snowman Olaf, was notified about it on Twitter, he sent a tweet to Disney asking, “Can we make this happen?”
Arnold Schwarzenegger also reached out to help the family.
Within hours of his post going viral, Ian was exchanging e-mails with a Disney executive. Two days later, a representative arrived at McMaster Children’s Hospital early in the morning, a copy of the sequel in hand.
Ellery and her family watched the movie from her room in the intensive care unit. Two actors from a local company dressed as Elsa and Anna showed up later in the day to sing Ellery songs from Frozen.
“The day was nothing short of magical,” Ian said. “Ellery can’t talk and is too weak to move, even, but you could see she was really enjoying it just by watching her face. She was hyper focused on the movie the whole time. You could see the twinkle in her eye the whole time.”
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