Happy birthday Emerson!
In Pennsylvania, Emerson celebrated her 5th birthday and is Casey Cares' 201st birthday this year!
Casey Cares knows that for a critically ill child, each birthday is a special milestone celebrating life. For the children in our programs, it not only marks another year, but it also demonstrates a great achievement. Casey Cares staff and volunteers work hard to send out each of our kids a special birthday package through our Birthday Blast program - we send over 1,000 a year. This simple act of kindness delivers joy and hope to our kids who are undergoing treatment.
Princess Ball with Casey Cares
Joining Casey Cares in 2022, Emerson has a love for princesses! Her favorite activity thanks to Casey Cares has been attending a princess ball.
Emerson's mother, Lauren, appreciates how Casey Cares, “is so thoughtful for both our cancer kiddo but the whole family. My older two daughters, Camryn and Avery, have also significantly benefited from the experiences and gifts that Casey Cares has given to us.”
“Our girls loved going and meeting the Disney princesses," Lauren states.
A Broken Arm
Emerson’s tumor was first discovered after she broke her arm in August 2020. Her doctors suspected that the break had gotten infected and so they operated.
“A week later Emerson stopped walking, so they assumed the infection had spread to her leg,” says Lauren.
“A full body MRI revealed that it wasn't actually an infection but leukemia. It was a shock to us as well as her doctors as Emerson had no other symptoms. The break in her arm was due to abnormal bone marrow which caused her bones to be brittle,” the mother expresses.
Emerson was later diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Though Emerson was young when she underwent medical treatment, Lauren is amazed about how much her daughter remembers during that time.
“She'll say to us - remember when I bald head Mommy and you used to kiss it. Or remember when my medicine made me sick and tasted awful.”
A Support System
The mother notes the difficulties of being a parent to a critically ill child.
“It was incredibly challenging to balance caring for an ill child, while trying to maintain as much normalcy for the family. Having two older siblings, we tried the best we could to minimize impact to them but it was difficult at times when we were gone for long periods of time at the hospital or doctor’s visits with Emerson. At 5 and 7, they were old enough to understand, but also not old enough to understand all that was going on.”
She reflects that, “We thankfully had an amazing support system though who was there at any hour for us, literally when I would call at 3am because Emerson spiked a fever and we needed to get her to the ER. We would not have been able to get through the last 2.5 years without them.”
Today, Emerson is a thriving 5-year-old.
Lauren states, “She's excited to go to Kindergarten next year and just started playing soccer. She's finally able to start doing the things most kids her age are doing!”
She concludes, “Emerson is the strongest, most brave little girl I know and I am so proud to be her mom.”
You can help bring lasting memories to critically ill children like Emerson - click here!