Child beats cancer, family donating profits at Kentucky State Fair 36 years later

Glass blower donating to Norton

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A Louisville family is set up at the Kentucky State Fair, donating all of their profits to Norton Children's Hospital. The reason is a personal one. The owner's daughter Tracy was diagnosed with leukemia and wasn't supposed to live long, but that was 36 years ago, and now, she continues to make the most of every day. 

Tom Ely, Tracy's father tells us, "One of the worst experiences that a parent could have is to be told their child has a life-threatening illness, of course, one of the best experiences for those same parents is for others to show concern for their child." 

Tracy Ely had open heart surgery at age two. She was diagnosed with leukemia when she was ten. She fought the disease for years but is now cancer free. She also has down syndrome. 

Tom and Sharon Ely spent much of Tracy's early years at Norton Children's Hospital and it was their time there that lead them to give back.

Tom adds, "They were there to do everything medically plus hold your hand." 

One hundred percent of profits made during their Kentucky State Fair sales will be donated to the hospital's foundation. Tracy has been at every state fair of her life, a life some doctors said wouldn't make it this far. 

Sharon Ely, Tracy's mother says through tears, "It's Tracy...it's Tracy...we just want to give back, they did so much for her." 

The Ely's only sell to the public once a year and it's always at the state fair because their daughter loves the state fair and people there love her back. When you visit, you're supporting local entrepreneurs, you're supporting Norton Children's and above it all, you're supporting the mantra that tomorrow is never promised. So, live every day like it's your last.

The Kentucky State Fair wraps up this Sunday and this is the only time the Ely Collection sells to the public. The rest of their business is wholesale.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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