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7-year-old girl who survived cancer will flip switch on PPG Place tree during Light Up Night

PITTSBURGH — Crews are preparing for Light Up Night festivities, and the City of Pittsburgh is welcoming a very special guest.

Ellie Cordes, a 7-year-old cancer survivor, will flip the switch to light the tree in PPG Place.

In September 2021, Cordes went to urgent care with leg pain in her leg and was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer.

She fought cancer and won - while in preschool.

And today, she proudly shows off her prosthetic, when she dances, does gymnastics and cheers.

“It was scary very scary, I think more for me than for her because children don’t understand what cancer is,” her mom Ashley Turner said.

Through 20 rounds of chemo and hair loss, Turner said Ellie remained brave and all smiles.

“I think she carried me through all of it, I don’t know how she did it. She kept smiling through the whole thing, she was smiling and I was smiling for her,” Turner said.

She’s still all smiles with the big news about her role in Light Up Night.

Ellie was chosen by the American Cancer Society to light the PPG Place tree.

“I’m gonna light this tree up!” She said.

Her classmates sent her off to Pittsburgh with gifts from the heart. Every student in the class made a heart for her.

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