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Patient of the Month - November 2011

November 2011 Patient of the Month

6 years old



Emma was found to have acute lymphoblastic lymphoma in 2010.


Emma's story:

Shortly before Emma's fourth birthday, she began experiencing difficulty breathing. Concerned, her mother took her to the pediatrician only to be told that Emma had the croup, a common childhood illness.

Two weeks later, Emma's family spent the day at a local zoo, which was one of Emma's favorite places. But soon after they left, Emma started to make horrible wheezing noises and she began to gasp for air. Unable to catch her breath, Emma passed out. On the side of the road, Emma’s worried parents leapt to action. Emma's dad called 911 and her mom performed CPR until the ambulance arrived.

At a local hospital, a CT scan revealed devastating news: There was a mass invading Emma's throat and chest. The mass had collapsed her windpipe and was on the verge of collapsing the main artery to her brain. Without a minute to spare, Emma was put on a ventilator and air lifted to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


At St. Jude:

At St. Jude, a biopsy of the mass revealed that Emma suffered from acute lymphoblastic lymphoma. She immediately started chemotherapy on a two-and-a-half year treatment plan. Her treatment also includes physical and occupational therapies.

Emma's family is grateful for the support of St Jude donors. "Part of what gets me through this is the relief of financial burden," said Emma's mom. "The people who are supporting St. Jude are helping to save lives."

Emma is able to receive most of her treatment at a St. Jude affiliate near her family's home. She's responded well to treatment and her cancer is in remission. Emma likes to dress up in her princess crown and glass slippers, and loves to build things out of wood using her own miniature tools.

To help give hope to children, such as Emma, who are fighting life-threatening illnesses, please become a Partner In Hope.

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