Pass the Cash - February 26, 2014: Ellen

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A mother who survived cancer and a fire is doing the best she can to provide for her daughter. In a letter written to WAVE 3 News Marissa Hatfield told the story of her friend Ellen.

"She only gets a check once a month. She had cancer last year. She lived in this same building there was fire," Hatfield explained.

Fixed income, cancer, fire, "She was homeless three or four times. She lived in a tent in her best friend's back yard, but she always made sure her daughter had a place to go. She's had it rough and she deserves it out of anybody I know."

We went with Hatfield to go see Ellen and Pass the Cash.

Ellen knew immediately why we were there, but she just couldn't believe it. Her neighbors celebrated and agreed Ellen deserved a break.

"I'm trying my best to do the best I can but it's hard sometimes," Ellen said.

But hard has not stopped her yet.

"I've been homeless three times, fighting cancer," she said.

A single mom of a 16-year-old Ellen said, "I'm one of 10 kids you know so I know how to stretch everything to nothing."

Ellen was still in shock after receiving the cash.

"Oh my God, you don't know, my car. I have a 98 Jeep Cherokee. My tension belts gone," she said. "My trany slips and I got a short in it but that's ok. I work on it myself."

There are times when you've done your best, but your best won't solve the problem or your best won't keep the lights on.

"My shut off date is March 3 so now I can pay it."

One step, one problem at a time. "It's all I can do. I do the best I can," she said.

Since 2011, WAVE 3 News has given away thousands of dollars to worthy recipients in our Pass the Cash segment. Click here to tell us about a Kentuckiana family or individual who you believe deserves a special gift of $300. (Be sure you are registered on You cannot nominate yourself or a family member.

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