Kids with Cancer

Meet Emily

by St. Baldrick's Foundation
January 5, 2017

Emily’s nickname as a camp counselor is “Sunshine,” and for good reason.

Diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia in April 2016, Emily has kept a sunny attitude, despite a devastating diagnosis and a risky treatment plan.

2017 ambassador Emily

She’s always been a go-getter. So when she learned her prognosis was poor and the treatment journey would be long, she took action and enrolled in a clinical trial.

Emily and her family hold a sign that says Be Nice or Leave

Emily was the first pediatric patient to undergo the eight-month-long treatment where doctors used arsenic, instead of the standard chemo, to kill her leukemia cells.

Every step of the way, Emily asks her doctors questions. She works hard to learn about her cancer and the clinical trial she’s on to fight it.

Emily and her doctor

But that level of involvement isn’t limited to her treatment.

She’s always moving, doing, and striving. When she was in the hospital, she’d study for the standardized tests for college, then video chat with her class to stay on top of what was going on. She’s even on student council.

emily and her family

“I think she pushes herself because she wants to live this life she’s been given now,” said her mom, Suzette.

Emily and her mom hold hands as they walk around the hospital

Emily feels that she’s had some of the best days of her life since her diagnosis. If you ask her, she has a lot to be grateful for — especially for the childhood cancer research that saved her life.

emily and her parents

“It means that I get to live to see another day, every day,” she said. “It means that I’ll get to graduate high school. It means that I’ll get to go to college and that I’ll get to grow up to have a family of my own.”

Emily is one of five St. Baldrick’s Foundation 2017 Ambassadors, representing the thousands of kids touched by cancer each year.

Meet the next Ambassador — Abby