7-year-old Ellie's family behind on rent

By Elizabeth Campbell, General assignment reporter, ecampbell@wjxt.com
Christopher Yazbec, News editor, News4Jax.com, cyazbec@wjxt.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:56:21 PM EST
Updated On: Dec 12 2013 07:43:59 PM EST

VIDEO: Although Ellie is improving, she is still fighting the cancer, and her parents are struggling financially.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Seven-year-old Ellie Szabados has been battling brain cancer since last year, and Channel 4 has followed her journey since the beginning -- her diagnosis, doctor's visits and return to school this year.

Although Ellie is improving, she is still fighting, and her parents are still struggling financially.

Ellie's dad said they are facing eviction because they are two months behind on rent as they've spent so much on medical bills.

"My landlord's asking me for $2,300 by Friday or he's going to evict me," Victor Szabados said. "Now I'm trying to figure out what to do."

Szabados said his family is in a tough spot. They're so blessed because their youngest daughter, Ellie, is finally starting to show victory in her two-year battle with brain cancer, but they're really struggling financially.

"The chemo she's on is an adult form, so every now and then the insurance company says, 'This isn't set for a child, so we're not paying for it.' So we pay out-of-pocket," Szabados said.

Paying out-of-pocket has put Victor and Steph Szabados behind on bills, including rent. They've rented a Westside house for three years and consider it home. They're two months behind and their landlord said he needs the money by Friday.

"The main thing I could ask for is help," Victor said. "I don't know how I'm going to get the rent. I don't know how I'm going to get him his money."

Ellie is treated at Nemours Children's Clinic, and her dad said her next treatment on Tuesday should hopefully be the last one for a while, meaning she's getting even healthier and they can finally get caught up on their bills.

"She is so set on Christmas. She knows what she wants and she wants it, period," he said. "We have Elf on the Shelf, and every day she's talking to Elmer, her Elf on the Shelf."

Victor said the last two years have been rough, but Ellie's brave, magnetic personality has kept their family strong.

"I'm working anywhere between 60-75 hours a week," Victor said. "My last paycheck was $550 for two weeks. There ain't no money. I don't know what to do."

If you want to help Ellie's family, you can contact them through email. Email Victor here and Steph here.

Channel 4 also reached out to the landlord. He said he knows the family is going through a lot, but he needs his money. He said he will give the Szabados' family a little bit more time so hopefully they can figure something out.

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