Ellie’s Kindle Is On Its Way!
April 2, 2010

Ellie (L) and twin Grace (R) around the time of Ellie's stage 4 rhabdomyosarcoma diagnosis.

I’m sending my gratitude to all the donors who made this gift of a Kindle, and stories during chemotherapy, possible for Ellie.

Ellie’s Kindle (along with a gift card good for 4 Kindle books, plus a physical book for both Ellie and Grace, pictured below) is scheduled to arrive Monday, April 5th. The greeting card I’m sending (signed with the donors’ names) follows in regular mail.

The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Fairies by Ammi-Joan Paquette.

It’s amazing what we can do when we band together to brighten a child’s life!

Twins, sisters, best friends!

 If you’d like to follow Amy Potvin’s updates on Ellie, or help defray the costs and expenses of the Potvin family as they kick cancer’s butt with a smile:  CaringBridge / Ellie Potvin / Journal

The post that started it all: A Kindle For Ellie Potvin: http://bit.ly/63X82u

As Amy Potvin says, blessings to all you love in this world!

Team Potvin, "In it to WIN it!"


Photographs by Amy Potvin.

Kindle 4 Ellie Update.
March 30, 2010


As I’m new to Paypal, I had no idea what to expect. I figured it would be a cinch.

However, I’ve been waiting on 1 Kindle donation verification since March 23rd. Paypal was supposed to clear the funds in 3-5 days, not counting weekends. As I write this, Paypal still hasn’t processed the funds, although the donor bank has. Today’s day 5 and the transaction is still pending.

Then, I did some research this afternoon, and to my dismay, learned that the Paypal virtual debit card was discontinued. This is important because, as I also found out, then I can’t use Paypal on Amazon.com — unless I apply for a Paypal debit card, which could take over 1 week. 

Enough is enough!

This afternoon, I transferred the donations into an account I especially created for charitable donations and the Kindle will be purchased that way. Of course, Paypal says it’s going to take — you guessed it — another 3-5 days.

However, that’ll be the end of the Paypal hold-up, finally. And, next time, I’ll know what to expect. 

On the upside, Amazon.com has Kindle gift-cards. Ellie received $40.00 in book donations, which means she can start off her Kindle with 4 books. The gift-card is emailable to her mom, Amy Potvin, so no hold-up there.

I know you’re probably as anxious as I am that Ellie get her Kindle. Now that you’re up to speed, I thank you for your patience. I’ll continue to update, but it looks like smooth sailing from here on in. The next big news will be that of the Kindle on its way to Ellie.

To accompany the Kindle, I’ll be mailing a card signed with the names of all the donors. (I’ll take a photograph and post it for everyone.) I know she loves pink and pigs, so I’ll find a card that fits. I’ll fill the envelope with confetti, to add some extra fun.

Again, thank you for your patience and for your kind-hearted donations. I know everyone has bills, children, expenses. Thank you for your generosity.

As always, Ellie and the Potvins could use your good thoughts and prayers.  

Emily Murdoch

UPDATE:  Ellie’s Kindle Is On Its Way!

Kindle 4 Ellie Official Donation Page!
March 15, 2010

Ellie Potvin is receiving chemotherapy for relapsed Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare pediatric cancer.

You can read about the Potvin family’s journey, here: 

 CaringBridge / Ellie Potvin / Journal

Thank you to the big-hearted and generous people donating to the Kindle 4 Ellie Drive!

As of March 16th, our goal has been reached! Check back for a wrap-up post when Ellie’s Kindle is on its way!

A Kindle reading device will give Ellie sterile access to a vast array of children’s books.

Stories possess magic strong enough to melt the walls of our surroundings and transport us to new worlds. So your gift for Ellie is not only powerful, but magical.

Thank you for helping to change a hospital room into a magical place through stories.

Thank you for making the world a brighter place through your caring and generosity. 

People can donate for Ellie’s Kindle at Paypal(dot)com to the email address: Kindle4Ellie(at)aol(dot)com.


T.T.         3.99

E.M.     25.00

H.T      25.00

S.P.         2.00

M.B.    10.00 GBP  (14.65 U.S. dollars)

C.W.    10.00

S.M.       5.00

E.C.        1.oo

E.T.        5.94

M.A.     10.00

L.N.        5.00  

K.R.      The remainder needed! Ellie will be getting her Kindle!

E.M.     covering shipping and handling.

TOTAL: as of the evening of 3/16/10    —     $259.00!!

GOAL: REACHED! $259.oo plus s&h!

At the end of the fundraiser, I’ll also donate $30.00 more for books (3 children’s books) to start off the Kindle.

The original blog post that started it all?

A Kindle For Ellie Potvin: http://bit.ly/63X82u  

As always, the Potvin family could use your thoughts and prayers. They appreciate every one.

Questions? Please email me: EMurdoch(at)wildblue(dot)net

 UPDATE:  Ellie’s Kindle Is On Its Way!

Photographs by Amy Potvin.


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

~Margaret Mead 

A Kindle for Ellie Potvin.
January 2, 2010

Ellie on 2009 Christmas Disney cruise, before beginning another round of chemotherapy.

I’m sitting at the kitchen bar, looking out the picture window at the sanctuary dogs in their kennels, sprawled out upside down in the sun. Usually when I write, there’s noise or music; today, it’s the silence I feel most grateful for — the stillness it brings on a slow, desert Saturday that is mine to spend in whatever way brings peace or pleasure. 

Just the day itself is a blessing. I’m home and I can do whatever I want, perched near to those I love, my books, my dogs, my horses. Just to have my life to myself, forgetting my body because I have no pain, choosing where I sleep, eat, write and even what I see out my window — it’s all a blessing. Taking things for granted is a luxury. 

I compare this to Ellie Potvin’s Saturday. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. 


Ellie is a sweet, kind, 8-year-old girl with relapsed Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare pediatric cancer she and her family thought they’d beat after over forty doses of chemotherapy. Amy Potvin, Ellie’s Mom, writes with joy of a laughter-filled summer full of love and fun, having graciously learned cancer’s lesson of living in the moment and taking nothing for granted, so thankful that their daughter, twin sister to Grace Potvin, fought hard and won her battle with cancer.  


And then, the diagnosis in Fall of 2009: Ellie’s cancer had relapsed, and scans showed fast-growing tumors in her lungs and abdomen. 

I can’t explain why I am so touched by this little girl, this family. Perhaps it’s because they possess so much faith at a time so many would lose faith … and display so much grace and courage in the midst of a situation that would break the best of us and bring us to our knees.

I try on their shoes each day as I follow updates on Ellie … 


… or follow Amy Potvin’s twitter account: @amypotvin, riding the emotional wave from afar as this family is “in it to win it” against cancer. Looking on, a person can’t help but feel moved to do something

It was just a few days ago that I had the idea of getting Ellie a Kindle reading device. As I read about Ellie starting another course of chemotherapy, I worried about the days she’d feel too sick, tired or nauseous to distract herself with arts and crafts. With a Kindle, she could choose books her Mom could read to her, along with Amy Potvin having access to newspapers and other reading material, a.k.a, the world outside the hospital. Such luxuries often recede to the background in financially and emotionally tough situations. 

And then it hit me: what about asking Amazon.com to donate a Kindle device, or personally collect donations from caring individuals to buy Ellie a Kindle? So, I sent an email off to Amazon.com:

My name is Emily Murdoch, and I’m hoping to speak to someone in authority that handles your Kindle device. 

 This is in regards to an eight-year-old girl named Ellie Potvin, with relapsed Rhabdomyosarcoma cancer and rapidly growing tumors in her lungs and abdomen. The first three lines of chemotherapy haven’t worked, and she was just given a 4 week prognosis if the fourth line chemo she’s beginning doesn’t shrink or stop the growth of her tumors.
For this chemo, Ellie needs to be in the hospital for a week each third week of the month, which means, away from her twin sister Grace, school, her friends, father and all that makes life bright for a child. She hates the hospital, but knows she’s sick.
I’m looking to speak to someone who might be able to donate a Kindle device to Ellie Potvin so her mother can read to her while she’s in the hospital undergoing treatment and too sick from the side-effects of chemotherapy to move around or do crafts.
As book lovers know, a magical world lives within the pages of a book, capable of transporting people out of their immediate circumstances. While a Kindle device can’t cure cancer, it could bring some joy to hospital stays for a little girl facing the toughest battle of her life.
I understand how difficult it can be to read or hear about this type of situation. But I do hope you’ll “pay it forward” and direct me to someone in the company who could gift this little girl with a Kindle, or lead me to someone who knows someone who could.
Thank you so much for your help,
Emily Murdoch
@LeftyWritey on Twitter


Recently, I was in touch with a person from Kindle, who wrote me: 

Hi, I just saw your message. I will forward the message to Amazon. 

Ellie’s [Caringbridge] site is being spread around Facebook, Twitter, and Myspace through my friend (a doctor) who has many followers, so hope it helps. 

I hope it helps, too. (Thank you, and thank you, Dr. Jose Guevara — @DrJoseGuevara)

In the meantime, I’m running a drive to collect donations for a  #Kindle4Ellie. All proceeds will go toward purchasing Ellie a Kindle in case an Amazon donation doesn’t come through. Any extra funds will be donated to Ellie’s Fund … 

Lift Up Ellie!

… to help the Potvin family with expenses as they “kick cancer’s butt with a smile”. (Please feel free to donate directly.)

You can donate to #Kindle4Ellie through paypal.com to the email address: Kindle4Ellie(at)aol(dot)com.

(A Kindle costs $259.00. If you have any questions, you can find me on twitter, @LeftyWritey.)

Kindle 4 Ellie Official Donation Page now posted: http://bit.ly/bjFbiw

UPDATE:  Ellie’s Kindle Is On Its Way!

Most of all, the Potvin family and Ellie could use your prayers. Please help us #LiftUpEllie and join in the call for a miracle! 

A smile as wide as the world.

 UPDATE: Angel Wings For Ellie Potvin: http://bit.ly/9YvNJG

 Photographs by Amy Potvin