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Lemont mourns loss of high school student Ellie Cuiching

LEMONT – Lemont suffered a tragic loss April 24. Ellie Cuiching, 14, a Lemont High School student, died after eight years of battling a brain tumor.

Ellie’s mother, Kyle Wunder Cuiching, posted the news on Facebook on April 25.

“My sweet baby girl was taken from us yesterday. I know that my grandma and grandpa have their arms wrapped around her and are taking great care of her. Yesterday was the hardest day of my life,” Kyle wrote.

Kyle said in the April 25 post that she wanted to continue the #elliestrong movement that had spread throughout the community. She added that her goal is to keep her daughter’s memory alive by starting a foundation in Ellie’s name.

Ellie’s grandmother, Patti Barnum, posted in the public Elliestrong Facebook group April 30, thanking the community for its support of the family, calling special attention to the thousands of cards Ellie had received, the medical staff that cared for her granddaughter and the thousands of people who had worn #Elliestrong bracelets.

“All of our family members together could not even match Ellie’s strength, determination and power. We will always carry Ellie in our hearts and souls,” Barnum wrote. “For all of the prayers you have said, we are grateful. ... We will never forget our world of supporters and your tears for Ellie.”

Ellie was remembered in two celebration of life events in Lemont with a visitation April 29 at Calvary Church and a service at Chicago First Church of Nazarene on April 30.

Over the course of her short life, Ellie had undergone four brain surgeries and several years of chemotherapy.

A GoFundMe page was set up to help the family pay for medical expenses. As of April 30, 1,044 people had raised $83,323 through GoFundMe. To make a donation, visit www.gofundme.com/qdurkx-ellie.

The family asks that people donate to the Hope & Friendship Foundation, a Lemont charity. To learn about the foundation, visit www.hopeandfriendshipfoundation.com.