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Alamance County mom shares 'hospital hacks' to help with extended stays

5-year-old Ellie Grace Sutton is battling cancer in the hospital. Her mom, Whitney, shares tips on social media to make long stays easier for families.

ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. — "It's like you're on a roller coaster, in a tornado going 1,000 miles an hour for the first week it's like insane," Whitney Sutton said.

For almost three weeks now, she's been living at UNC Children's Hospital with her five-year-old daughter, Ellie Grace, who is battling B Cell Accute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

"We came into the hospital March 17 into the emergency room we had been seeing our pediatrician for swollen lymph node she had really swollen lymph nodes and they weren't going away," Sutton said.

Family and friends immediately stepped up to ask how they could help and wanting updates on how Ellie Grace was doing - Whitney turned to Facebook.

"So I was just like I'm just gonna do a Facebook live and you guys just post your questions and that way I can answer them instantaneously and everything like that," she said.

With daily chemo treatments, therapy, check ins and port changes, Whitney has enough on her plate and updating people social media wasn't top of mind.

"God was just like, 'Tell people,' she said. "Tell people that even small things, like somebody running back-and-forth to wash your clothes is a huge help, or, you know, just bringing fresh fruit into the hospital it's just a huge blessing to us."

Whitney's Tik Tok videos showing "hospital hacks," like how to upgrade a pull out couch or do laundry, have racked up hundreds of thousands of views. Parents going on the same journey make sure to say how grateful they are for the tips. One mom said, "this would have come in handy when we slept at the hospital every night for one month." Another wrote "my son's about to go in for his 3rd open heart surgery so I need this."

"It was really exciting to see the response but also just heartbreaking to see the amount of people who are in hospitals for extended stays and everything like that so it's been cool to be able to be like here's the information it's out there you know go and get this mats you can sleep like you were at home. 

If all goes according to plan, Ellie Grace will get to come home this month right before her 6th birthday.

You can learn more about her journey and how to help on her Facebook page. There's an event in Ellie Grace's honor this month and you can learn more here

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