When she was just 14 years old, Elena Huelva was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer. Since then, she has been documenting her battle with the disease on Instagram. She has become an influencer spreading awareness about her cancer and inspiring others as she bravely fought against it. Sadly, she announced in a heartbreaking video on December 3 that the cancer had spread to her lungs, and she is now entering end-of-life care.
Spanish Influencer Announces That She Is On End-of-Life Care
In 2016, doctors diagnosed 14-year-old Elena Huelva with a rare bone cancer called Ewing sarcoma. Elena began documenting her health struggles on Instagram to spread awareness about this kind of cancer and share what it is like fighting it. Over the last six years, she has become an influencer in the space, gaining more than 615,000 followers. She also wrote a book called “Mis Ganas Ganan. Nadie Nos Ha Prometido Un Mañana, Vive El Presente”, which means “My desires win, we are not promised a tomorrow, so live in the present.” (1)
Over the last six years, Elena has inspired people with her bravery, honesty, and positivity throughout her cancer journey. Tragically, on December 3, she shared with her followers that she was losing her battle. In an emotional video, she announced that the cancer had spread to her airways. “I don’t need to say much more” she stated. From there, she thanked her followers for their support and encouragement over the years. Though she never wanted to make this video, she said, she at least knows that she has made an impact.
“No matter what happens, I know that my life has not been in vain because I have fought and I have achieved what I want, to [bring awareness to the disease],” she said in Spanish. “I want to make it clear that I’ve already won. With all the love and people I have by my side, I’ve already won.”
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Life Is About Living And Making Memories
In her video, she gave some advice to others from the viewpoint of someone who knows that she is at the end of hers. She reminded her followers that life is about truly living and making as many memories as possible with the people who you care about.
“At the end of the day, life is about living and making memories with people, and I take away many good memories with lots of wonderful people and many other things,” she said. “I would like to thank you for all the affection you have always given me. I love you.”
The video has gone viral, and her supporters flooded the comments section with well wishes and support. They told her how much they loved her, how inspirational she had been and continues to be, and that she was a champion. Elena did a follow-up post with a carousel of photos and a caption that reads:
“I can only thank you for all the love I have been getting, always but these days mostly.
It’s been very tough days, I thought that the toughest could have passed but they always overcome… Hahaha. Still tough days but at least I’m home, surrounded by my family and loved ones, with love always ahead.
They have oxygen for me at home so that I’m as best as possible, with the pain controlled and most importantly in my house, I wanted to be in my bed, in the living room, with my dog too. ♥️
I already said it but I’ve already won, my desire wins and it will always be like that.
I just want us to keep fighting for research and investment in this terrible disease like cancer, Ewing Sarcoma that I’ve been suffering from for four years now.
We continue, always,”
More On Ewing Sarcoma
Ewing sarcoma is a rare form of cancer that occurs in either the bones or in the soft tissues surrounding the bones. It most commonly begins in the leg bones or the pelvis. However, it can happen in any bone. Ewing sarcoma is also more common in children and teenagers than in adults. Symptoms of this cancer include (2):
- Bone pain
- Pain, swelling, or tenderness in the affected area
- Unexplained tiredness
- Losing weight without trying to
- Fever without a known cause
Though doctors still don’t know exactly what causes Ewing sarcoma, they do know that the DNA changes that cause it affects a gene called EWSR1. Treatments typically include aggressive chemotherapy and radiation. Advancements in treatments have greatly improved patients’ outlook; however, lifelong monitoring is necessary. This is primarily to monitor for side effects of the aggressive treatments.
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- “‘I know my life has not been in vain’: Influencer, 20, with bone cancer bids tearful farewell to her followers as she reveals she is on end-of-life care – after bravely documenting her health struggles for six years.” Daily Mail. Lee Bullen and Lillian Gissen. December 5, 2022.
- “Ewing Sarcoma.” Rare Diseases