Bryan Bresee’s Sister’s Story: Saints DL Pays Tribute with ‘Ella Strong’ Tattoo in Honor of Her Cancer Battle


Bryan Bresee’s football journey has been closely intertwined with the presence and support of his family, particularly his younger sister Ella, who played a central role in cheering him on from high school through his college career at Clemson.

Ella was a constant fixture at Bryan’s games, passionately supporting him through his high school days in Maryland when he emerged as the top recruit in the country, and later, during his time with the Clemson Tigers under coach Dabo Swinney.

Describing Ella as his “main supporter,” Bryan acknowledged her unwavering enthusiasm for football and the Clemson atmosphere, where she became a beloved figure. Her absence during Bryan’s transition to the NFL with the New Orleans Saints has been deeply felt by the entire family, especially during significant moments like his draft into the NFL.


Tragically, Ella’s life was cut short due to medulloblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. She passed away at the age of 15 on September 15, 2022, leaving a profound void in Bryan’s life and career.

Ella’s battle with cancer was both courageous and challenging. Despite enduring surgeries, rounds of radiation, chemotherapy, and the subsequent physical toll, she continued to attend Bryan’s games, becoming an inspiration to the Clemson team, who adopted the rallying cry of “Ella Strong” in her honor.

Bryan Bresee, deeply impacted by Ella’s resilience and positivity throughout her battle, continues to draw inspiration from her indomitable spirit even after her passing. He has expressed how Ella’s strength motivates him, emphasizing her impact on his life.

In a poignant tribute to his sister, Bryan has a tattoo on his right arm—a ribbon-wrapped rose with the inscription “Ella Strong” and Roman Numerals representing her birthday. The tattoo serves as a constant reminder of Ella’s courage and serves as a way for Bryan to keep her memory alive, ensuring she remains a part of his everyday life and football journey.

Though Ella may no longer be physically present in the stands, her enduring presence and the lessons learned from her unwavering spirit continue to guide and inspire Bryan, shaping both his personal life and his career in football. Her memory serves as a profound source of strength and perspective, reminding him to cherish every moment and embrace gratitude for every opportunity, both on and off the field.