Kings rallies around ’06 grad

Ellis Combs- DePaoli

Maddie DePaoli

M. DePaoli

“Being optimistic is the only true way to beat an illness,” says 2006 Kings graduate Ellis Combs, and that’s exactly what he’s doing.

After being recently diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, or more specifically a Supratentorial Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumor or sPNET for short, Ellis spent no time thinking negatively, but jumped straight into the road to recovery

“My main concern quickly turned to getting the surgery done asap, and getting the recovery process started,” Ellis said in an interview with The Knight Times.

Though the tumor was removed on Aug. 30, Ellis is currently doing well and is going through radiation five days a week and will soon start chemotherapy.

“Radiation has not been fun, but staying positive and keeping in mind that eventually it will allow you to be healthy helps get you through,” he said.

Mark Byrd, a teacher at Kings who also graduated in 2006, said he remembers Ellis as “just a normal guy, athletic, and well-liked by his peers.”

“You just don’t imagine this happening to someone you know and care about,” said Byrd.

Ellis said he has been contacted by many former peers, teachers, and coaches who’ve helped with support and donations, which you can do via the link below.

He said his sister, Lynzie, has also been very supportive.

“We knew we had to be strong for bub,” Lynzie said, referring to her little brother.

After the tumor was discovered, Ellis had just come back from Chicago to start a new job in Cincinnati, but had to come stay with Lynzie as he began starting treatment in West Chester.

Though once he recovers, he’s planning on getting back to work, “and the gym” as Lynzie said, as soon as he can.

Even though this has been a rough time, being positive has helped Ellis get by. He plans on becoming more active in the Brain Cancer Societies in the area in hopes of continuing awareness and research after he recovers.

Ellis adds to anyone who might be going through a tough experience “The best piece of advice I can offer would be to rely on your faith and optimism to get you through.”

The Combs family has set up a website to collect donations to help cover Ellis’ medical expenses. They are very close to reaching their goal of $10,000. Feel free to aid the cause by visiting


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