In February 2015, a cold sent Emily, now 3, to her pediatrician, who discovered a slight heart murmur. A week later her mom, Amber, noticed Emily’s face was swollen, and a second trip to the doctor revealed her heart murmur had gotten much worse. It was time to go to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Imaging showed a mass in Emily’s chest, and further tests revealed that she had lymphoblastic lymphoma. Emily spent a month in the Hospital, and chemotherapy shrunk the mass significantly. Through it all Emily has remained active and playful. She takes gymnastics classes, and she enjoys visiting with horses, dogs, fish and other animals that live around her neighborhood.
“The whole experience made me feel differently about chemotherapy,” says Amber. “It’s a lot less scary than I thought.” It helps that Emily “always has a smile,” Amber notes. “She loves going to the doctor.”
When Emily goes to CHOP, she wants her older brother and best friend, Danny, to go along, and he’s happy to accompany her and do crafts with the Child Life staff. For her outpatient appointments, the family goes to the CHOP Care Network’s Specialty Care and Surgery Center in King of Prussia, a 20-minute drive from their home.
On Sunday, Sept. 25, Emily’s team will take part in the Parkway Run & Walk. They’ll be among the thousands running and walking to raise money for pediatric cancer care and research at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Cancer Center, determined to create a world where no child faces cancer.
Update: Summer 2017
Emily finished treatment on Memorial Day weekend. She’s full of energy and having a fantastic summer! This past year she was in preschool two days a week, and did tap and ballet. We went to Disney World for her Make-a-Wish trip in June which was amazing! She’s been having a lot of fun playing with her brother Danny and swimming at the pool. She just turned 4 on June 30, and will start Pre-K in the fall.