North Carolina teen heads to New York for shopping spree thanks to Make-a-Wish

Girl flying to New York for shopping spree
Friday, June 20, 2014
A wish will soon be granted for a 17 year-old girl who has endured more in her lifetime than many of us could imagine. Ellery Neiderer has been battling leukemia.

Thursday, she takes-off in a private jet for a shopping spree in New York City thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Eastern North Carolina.

"I don't even know what to think," said Ellery. "I'm so excited."

It was a dream come true for the Pasquotank County teen when she first arrived at her hotel in the Triangle.

"They had a red carpet rolled out, and they were taking pictures of me, and it was an amazing greeting," said Ellery. "I had no idea that was coming."

Later, she tried on several pieces of jewelry at an Apex jewelry store. She picked one for her private chartered flight to the Big Apple, which will also feature a hair and make-up session.

A limo will then whisk her away to Macy's where she'll meet up with a personal assistant for a shopping spree. All of which was made possible by Make-a-Wish.

"I can only imagine that it's going to be fantastic," said Ellery. "One of the misconceptions about having cancer is that you get really skinny."

You'd never know it by her energy or vibrant smile, but Ellery is beating Philadelphia Chromosome Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

"I could count the amount of teenagers and youths in North America who have been diagnosed with it on two hands -- one hand maybe," she said.

It's a rare blood cancer that put the only freshman on her varsity swim team in the hospital for the first six months following her diagnosis. She went from weighing 80 pounds to 190.

"All of the clothes that I still fit into... it's just bad memories associated with being in the hospital," said Ellery.

"She's made up all of the school," said Ellery's mom, Kit Neiderer. "She'll graduate on time, she missed two years."

She's a tough teen turned even more resilient, and now she's more closely knit to her family.

"Ellery was never my huggy kid," said Kit, "Now, she is."

Ellery's flight left from Raleigh-Durham International Airport Thursday morning. She will be in New York until Sunday.

She's been in remission for a year, and plans to attend Wake Forest University in the fall.

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