Ellie Cole welcomed her first child 6 weeks before entering the I'm A Celeb jungle.

When Australian athlete Ellie Cole was two years old, she was diagnosed with a rare tumour. 

She had a life-threatening neurosarcoma wrapped around the nerves of her right leg and endured more than a year of brutal chemotherapy to rid her body of the cancer. 

But she wasn't out of the woods yet — when Ellie was three, a doctor told the athlete's parents her right leg would have to be amputated above the knee. 

Watch Ellie Cole on The Project right here. Post continues after video.

Video via Channel 10.

Ellie, who has gone into the South African jungle to compete in this year's season of I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Herespoke about the reality of losing her leg with her camp mates. 

"My parents and the doctors made the decision to amputate my leg," she said. 

"So many people are so scared to ask questions about disability because they’re so afraid of offending, but it really limits the information that we take in, and that’s one thing I’ve loved about the camp mates because they ask questions."

The 17-time Paralympic medallist has just ticked becoming a reality TV star off her list, but in February, Cole also marked another major personal milestone by becoming a mum.

On February 5, she and her partner Silvia announced the birth of their son, Felix Parker Cole, who arrived three weeks earlier than expected. 


"They say when your own child is born, it is one of the greatest miracles you could ever hope for," she wrote with a picture of her newborn son.

"We are feeling so blessed — Felix Parker Cole joined our family this morning, unexpectedly, three weeks early.

"We know that he will make us see the world in an entirely different way. Welcome to the world, little Felix. All we see is you."

On I'm A Celeb, Cole confessed that despite being the most decorated female Paralympian in history until her retirement in 2022, she has never felt that she was supported in the same capacity as other Olympians. 


"As a para-athlete, probably up until Tokyo 2020, I really felt like I had to push much harder just to be seen in the same regard," she said.

"I joined the Campbell sisters [Bronte and Cate] in a training program [in 2019]. Everyone loves the Campbell sisters, and so they should, they're Australia’s swimming sweethearts, and it was an amazing opportunity to train with them.

"But I was going into that program as a 15-time Paralympic medallist, and I still had to try and fight for resources and fight for funding to be able to be supported in the same program as an Olympic athlete. That was really challenging."


Cole dominated the pool for years before her retirement in 2022 (not long after her third Commonwealth Games in Birmingham). In four Paralympics, she won 17 medals, including six gold. At the Commonwealth Games, she won one silver and three bronze medals.

Competing on I'm A Celeb makes her the first person with a physical disability to be on the reality show. While she has no doubt she will be a powerhouse in terms of mental fortitude, she confessed there might be a physical disadvantage. 

"I'm stupidly optimistic. I don't have bad days emotionally," she said. "My bad days are physical bad days. I broke my hip a few years ago. I also broke my foot a couple of years ago too. I break bones really easy. Sometimes I wake up, and if it's a cold morning or even just a normal day, weight-bearing really hurts for about three hours."

In 2023, Cole opened up to Mamamia after she was shamed for having "a pretty token impairment".

"I've never experienced anything like this before," Cole said at the time.

"In fact, it's always been the opposite growing up with a disability in Australia. Everybody always saw me having an amputation or prosthetic as being quite disabled.

"Over time, with the Paralympic Games having the platform that it has, I suppose the language around disability has changed quite a lot. And now it's gotten to a point where I've gone through the whole range of being perceived as quite disabled, and now [being told] I have a 'token' disability. So that's been really interesting."

Feature Image: Instagram @elliecoleswim.