St. Paul native injured in ski accident recovers | Ellie Cizek - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

St. Paul native injured in ski accident improves amid swell of support

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From Minnesota to Kansas and all the way to Colorado, one St. Paul woman's recovery is impacting a lot of people as she continues to improve following a brain injury she sustained on a ski trip.

Cretin-Derham Hall graduate Ellie Cizek was injured in January when she hit a padded pole in Winter Park, Colo.

"We call her the rock of our family," said her brother, Zach. "Her middle name is Joy, and she has more friends than anyone I know."

Zach Cizek told FOX 9 News the support his sister has received across several states shows she made an impact on more people than he could have ever imagined.

"The support Eleanor has in incredible and just goes to show the positive energy she has given to other people," he said. "It's all coming back to support her."

The Kansas University sophomore spent a week in a coma, but after three weeks in the hospital, she is now in a Denver rehabilitation facility.

"I was ecstatic. My family -- ecstatic," Zach Cizek told FOX 9 News. "We're just very excited she is out and fighting and working very hard to come out in a positive way."

The Cizeks say they are amazed at the support they've received, especially from the sorority sisters at Kappa Kappa Gamma who began selling bracelets to raise money to help pay for the costs of recovery.

"She obviously had such a big impact on everyone in our house, and it's unbelievable to see the impact she made on the rest of the community," sorority sister Lea Lytle told FOX 9 News by phone.

Lytle created #CizekStrong, which has helped spread the world -- especially since it started trending.

While the Cizeks know the road to recovery is a long one, they say Ellie's positive attitude helps them know she will stay strong throughout the journey.

"We are very proud of her, and every day she just amazes us and achieves something new," Zach Cizek said.

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