Local Father of Child Fighting Cancer Gains Global Awareness Through Social Media
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – “I can’t stop cancer,” says Chad Ehlers during a Tik Tok video that has gone viral.
Mia Ehlers was diagnosed with leukemia before she was even two years old in July of 2020. Her father Chad has now dedicated his whole life to raising awareness of childhood cancer. “Being a father and having to watch your child suffer and having to hold her down. The biggest thing that gets me, she doesn’t understand. You can’t stop and explain to her, hey, it’s time for your chemo. We have to put this needle in your chest,” says Chad Ehlers.
Chad Ehlers enjoyed social media fame teaching dances before his daughter got sick . But with an infectiously positive attitude and a knack for posting, he and Mia now have over 3.5 million followers around the world sharing in her journey.
“I’ve counted one time 27 different languages in the comment section and I’m translating them with translator app and they’re all praying. And they’re all saying how wonderful and awesome and amazing she is and she’s a super hero. And all these people who are so different, all these cultures come together just for the sake of a child,” says Ehlers.
He’s even started a nonprofit, Chad Change, raising awareness and fundraising around the country, including right here at Children’s Erlanger where Mia receives treatment.
“These kids leave the hospital and they take it with them. And they take the stress, the anxiety. They take the pain, the nausea, the side effects. Even if we can find a shorter treatment.”
Ehlers is hosting a petition, with tens of thousands of signatures already, to raise the federal funding of childhood cancer research to 8 percent. The petition can be found on his social media @Da_Chad. Mia has her last chemo treatment this September, just before her fourth birthday.