In May 2018, Emma developed headaches – “really bad ones,” she said – and nausea. Her parents, Kevin and Evie, assumed it was from a virus. Emma was in and out of the pediatrician’s office and even had her eyes checked, but no one could pinpoint the cause of her headaches.
Finally, a gastrointestinal doctor ordered an MRI, to make sure all the bases were covered. The results showed a mass on Emma’s brain, identified as a type of brain cancer called medulloblastoma. After surgery to remove the tumor, Emma was referred to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.
Emma’s treatment included proton therapy and chemotherapy. “St. Jude provides comfort. In this situation, you’re anxious, so much is unknown, and here, that goes away,” Kevin said. “You know you’re in the best place, and you know your child is getting the best care.”
Some of the best doctors in the world are here, and what they focus on every day is curing kids.
Now finished with treatment, Emma visits St. Jude for regular scans. She’s excited to get back to all the things she loves. Before her diagnosis, Emma kept busy with softball, gymnastics and cheerleading. As a matter of fact, just days before her family learned she had brain cancer, Emma played in a softball tournament.
“She’s a girly-girl who will also get in the dirt,” said Evie. “Emma and her twin brother love riding four-wheelers and playing outside together.”