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Third-grader Elliot Heller has cancer. He has one wish. You can help make it come true.



Saturday’s event, all about Elliot Heller

ONALASKA, Wis. — The Coulee Region is out to make it Elliot Heller’s day.

Battling a rare form of cancer, the third grader from Southern Bluffs Elementary School in La Crosse is the focus of Saturday’s Big Bikes for Little Tikes event in Onalaska.

Heller is battling synovial sacroma, a cancer that attacks his soft tissue. He has one wish: To see Alaska. 

And that’s where 11th Annual Big Bikes event comes in, to help send him to the north.

“It’s pretty awesome to have so much support through the whole thing,” Elliot’s mother Julia said. “Even my 11-year-old (daughter, Emma) is realizing how amazing people can be, coming forward and helping us out. (Elliot has) been amazing, too, just to have something positive he can look forward to.”

And what that is, is a 113-mile ride for Elliot through the Coulee Region. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and ends with a party at the Onalaska American Legion. To help send Elliot to Alaska, register here or at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Onalaska Harley Davidson.

The nightmare started in September when Elliot showed mom a bump on his hip.

“He was getting ready to take a shower and he’s like, ‘Mom, check out the bump that I have,'” Julia said. “Something didn’t sit right with me, so we went in, I think it was the next day. And, about a week and a half later, he was getting his first chemo treatment. So it all happened very fast.”

Before discovering the bump, Elliot your typical kid, who never sits down – swimming, football, track, go-karts, climbing, farming.

Mom says he’s a joker and very clever.

After 35 days of chemo, however, Elliot wasn’t himself. He couldn’t finish football. Didn’t finish the third grade. Missed swimming and is missing track.

He never did complain, though. Not even after surgery in January that took a third of his leg muscles and skin to get to the ‘bump.’ He also went through radiation treatment. Chemo and radiation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., lasted several weeks.

“Actually, he just had his first physical therapy yesterday and there are some things he needs to work on,” Julia said. “But it all looks really good. He’s just hanging out right now. He’ll have scans again in June, just to kind of keep an eye on how things are going.”

Elliot is staying strong. His family – mom, sister and dad, Ryan – have, as well. They’re looking forward, very much, to celebrate Saturday, making Elliot’s wish come true.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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