Erica and Ella Hunt
They believe in miracles. They live life to the max. They go. They do. They love. They cherish each moment. Erica Hunt and her daughter Ella are two of Elkhart County’s uber Vibrant People. Ella is 7 and ½ years old and in first grade. Erica says Ella would insist on having the ½ noted.
Ella has a condition called SMA. It has left her almost completelyy paralyzed. Most who have it are dead before their first birthday. Erica says, “Her body is broken, but her spirit is super hero strong.”
Ella lives with mom, Erica and Dan, her father, along with two older brothers Noah and Carter. “Our household is a well-oiled machine,” claims Erica. “We need to stay on top of Ella’s care, but we really focus on making moments and memories.” Theirs is a home that emphasizes quality time together, sharing love and doing stuff. Doing lots and lots of stuff.
There is only one clock in the Hunt household. Erica says, “We don’t chase time anymore.” The Hunt’s strive to live for the moment. “Our friends might be hesitant to call us and ask what we are up to,” says Erica. “They never know what we will say. We are always looking for the next amazing thing we can do.” She adds, “We should all live that way.”
Erica’s friend Myrtis Caudill has a keen appreciation for Erica. Myrtis writes, “Despite the weariness of caregiving, the fear of losing Ella, raising her sons and being a wife to her husband Dan, Erica is always looking for ways to help those in need.” Myrtis describes a recent situation where Erica tried to help a family grieve the loss of a loved one. “She has done this kind of thing over and over,” Myrtis says,” never even thinking twice about it.”
Erica is not sure where she gets her energy (and she has lots). She always seems to have a smile, has an infectious laugh, offers good advice and is always on the lookout for “little miracles.” The love between Erica and Ella is deep and glorious. “Life is hard,” Erica says pausing and adding, “and beautiful. “
To see more about Ella and her family and their whirlwind lives, check out their Facebook page: Ella Lanay Hunt.