Union County girl fighting cancer surprised with new playground

Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 3:36 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 16, 2021 at 6:18 PM EDT
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MARVIN, N.C. (WBTV) - A Union County girl battling cancer has a brand-new playground in her backyard, thanks to some caring neighbors.

Elly Perlman, 6, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) about 14 months ago.

“She’s gaining strength back and she’s got a lot of what the little Elly we know and love,” Russ Perlman, Elly’s dad, said. “She’s playing and doing things that a six-year-old should be doing. It’s been a long 14 months, but we’re headed in the right direction.”

Even though Elly is doing well, she still has a year of treatment left. Her family says they cannot take any chances with possible exposure when her immune system is weak. Add in the pandemic and the circumstances have made for an isolating year, especially for a 6-year-old.

“It’s harder now than it was when she was first diagnosed because everyone was locked down in the beginning and that made it kind of easy and also kept her very protected. But now, everyone is opening up and being unmasked and we’re not there yet,” Amy Perlman, Elly’s mom, said.

Dozens of volunteers from TPC Piper Glen Golf & Country Club, Firethorne Country Club, and ClubCorp joined forces with Roc Solid Foundation to bring the fun to Elly’s backyard. Roc Solid Foundation is a nonprofit that builds playgrounds and provides support for children and families battling pediatric cancer.

Friday, the groups built Elly a brand-new playground within a matter of hours.

“To give the child hope. And somebody that doesn’t have a playset in their backyard. They can come home from the hospital with their family to this beautiful backyard and just play. Take their mind off it and have a good time,” General Manager of TPC Piper Glen Ron Wonderling said.

By afternoon, Elly was surprised with the new playground and new friends there to support her.

“It’s overwhelming, it’s awesome,” Amy Perlman said.

“You know some of the distances these people have traveled just to give us their support,” Russ Perlman added.

For more information on Roc Solid Foundation click here.

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