Emma’s journey began on March 13, 2014 (she was 13 months old) when her pediatrician noticed a slight drooping on one side of her face.
After getting an MRI at The University of Michigan Mott Children’s Hospital, doctors confirmed that Emma had a large tumor in the right frontal portion of her brain. Emma underwent brain surgery just 4 days after discovering the tumor. Thanks to the talented neurosurgeon and the good Lord, the tumor was fully resected. The pathology revealed that the tumor was a Grade 3 Anaplastic Ependymoma, an aggressive variant of this cancer.
Ependymoma’s are a complex form of cancer, particularly at Emma’s age and treatment is not entirely straightforward because of the potential side effects of radiation on such a young brain. Emma started chemotherapy in April and underwent 4 rounds of aggressive treatment. She has completed the protocol up to this point and will undergo Proton Radiation therapy in Boston when she is 3 years old.
Emma has continued to smile even on her worst days over the past 6 months. Her happy spirit and strong will have helped her persevere and overcome obstacles the doctors said she wouldn’t.