Elli

Get your free Elli – like many children all over the world!

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Order ELLI and find a new friend – ELLI is no ordinary toy, because ELLI has a magic, removable eye: ELLI will be there to help children adapt to having a glass eye, to be strong during their treatment and to understand why they may be different from other children. ELLI is a gift from our foundation and can be ordered – free of charge – by email to info@kinderaugenkrebsstiftung.de

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ELLI has helped children all around the world. Many of them have sent us a picture for our gallery. Thank you.

ELLI’s creation has been made possible by the Coppenrath publishing company in Münster, Germany. Coppenrath is well loved in Germany for its miraculous range of children’s books and snuggly soft toys. So when Coppenrath publisher Wolfgang Hölker met with us, he was immediately enthusiastic about our idea for a soft toy to bring courage and companionship to children suffering from the childhood cancer retinoblastoma.

Elli on world tour

How to deal with Elli – for parents

Dear Parents,

from our practical experience in dealing with Elli during family-oriented rehabilitation at the aftercare clinic Tannheim, Germany, we were asked to describe how Elli can be helpful for parents and their child.

By sharing a short story, we want to give you an idea of how to use Elli and how your child can make a new friend, which she can protect, love and identify herself with. This will give your child the opportunity to accept their own physical change as a new “normality”.

Maike (3 years old) has had an artificial eye ever since she underwent surgery for her Retinoblastoma. Getting used to this change took some time. Maike enjoyed playing with her eye in public to observe people’s reactions. Many artificial eyes however have already gone broken because they fell on the floor when Maike played with it.

Maikes parents did not know how to tell their child not to remove her eye until they received help from the KinderAugenKrebsStiftung. The parents’ initiative of the foundation sent Maike’s parents an Elli and a picture book. Maike has found a new friend and a favorite stuffed animal that shares her little secret. She can identify herself with Elli (in her magical world, Maike sees no difference between children and stuffed animals), take care of her and show Elli around in her real world.

In addition, by using Elli, Maike is now able to show everyone how her eye functions. This is helpful for Maikes parents as well, as they are able to teach her daughter how careful she has to treat her artificial eye when it needs to be removed, cleaned or anointed. Maike is now able to understand everything regarding her eye much better. Elli and the child-friendly picture book help her to prepare for situations, such as the preparation for check-ups at the hospital. Other children in the Kindergarten envy Maike and would love to have an Elli. This makes Maike proud and she sometimes allows her best friends to play with Elli under her “strict supervision”.

Elli has become an additional family member and Maikes parents benefit from an easier communication with her daughter. Children need to experience, touch or try things in order to understand them. Elli makes all this possible. Even the therapists in the special education or in the physiotherapy enjoy being around Elli and carefully listen to Maike when she uses Elli to explain how to treat her eye properly.

As shown in the picture book, Elli supports and accompanies Maike during check-ups at the clinic. Ever since Elli has entered Maikes world, Maike stopped taking out her eye and has never broken one either.

Sabine Streb-Vollstedt

Psychotherapist

Systemic Couple and Family Therapist

Deputy psychosocial management of the aftercare clinic Tannheim, Germany

 

Sabine Streb-Vollstedt has gained experience with Elli while taking care and spending time with children, who are affected by the retinoblastoma. She was so kind to provide the Children’s Eye Cancer Foundation with this beautiful guide of how to use Elli. We thank you very much.

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