8-year-old’s ‘list of rules’ displayed across county after she dies from autoimmune disease

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — Maybe you’ve seen the signs in Cherokee County that say “Have Fun. Always Love. Ellie”

Ellie was an 8-year-old Cherokee County girl who left behind quite a legacy. She was a second grader who died earlier this month from what can be described as a collection of autoimmune diseases.

But it's what her parents found in her bedroom that has people wanting to live life Ellie's way.

Chuck and Heather Pruitt are comforted by a list of four rules their daughter Ellie wrote and lived by, including “No Fighting,” Have Fun” and "Always Love.”

After she died Feb. 6, the parents found the list.

“It’s amazing that an 8-year-old little girl knew what we should focus on,” Heather Pruitt said.

Thinking it may help her classmates deal with the death of their friend, the Pruitts shared it and the community embraced it.

Businesses in Cherokee County, including Bruster’s and Chick-Fil-A, have displayed rules one and four and Ellie’s friends are obeying.

“I love her rules because they all go together and she chose some good rules,” classmate Lucy Preston said.

“The rules are now our house rules, and she’s applied those already to her sister,” family friend Rebe Preston said.

Rule four: “Always Love” was Ellie’s specialty.

“She knew that, loving others is what was most important, and Ellie had a way of loving everyone that she was around and being a friend to everyone,” Heather Pruitt said.

At her life celebration, a friend of Ellie’s told the Pruitt’s: “I think Ellie’s mission on Earth was to make sure everyone had a best friend.”

“We were lucky to have her for those eight years,” Heather Pruitt said. “Everybody said, ‘You raised her so well,’ and I’m like, ‘She was easy to raise. She was amazing,’” Heather Pruitt said.

Ellie’s parents said seeing their daughter’s rules around the community tugs at their hearts, but they couldn’t be prouder of her and the message of love she is spreading around the world with her room rules.