I have been searching of the “right” words to say all day, but realistically there will never be the right words to describe this feeling. Yesterday, Emmy gained her wings after a long, hard, and strong fight against pediatric cancer. It is not fair nor does it make any sense on why a child has to leave the world so soon. Especially, since their lives are only beginning.

Emersen always had this special vibrant spirit with her. She always made you feel special and feel loved, no matter how she felt. She was diagnosed with DIPG in November 2013, at the age of four. Emmy was obviously very sick in her last months, but that did not stop her from making her family feel loved. I saw Emersen this past Thanksgiving and told her that I had been accepted to college and I would be attending there in the fall. After sitting and chatting with her, we talked about why  I wanted to go in the field that I intended on going into. That was the medical field. Truthfully, I had always been interested in the medical field but since Emmy was diagnosed, it really encouraged me to dig deep into the field one day. When I saw Emmy at Christmas, I walked into our grandparents house and there she was, holding a doctor bag that she had made for me. It was a pink felt bag with a white pipe cleaner. On the bag, it said “Abbie.” Seriously, how thoughtful is that? Emmy is so unbelievably sick and she still thought that she would make something for me. It is something that I truly cherish and something that I will always love about her.

Family, friends, and even strangers have been nothing but thoughtful during this whole process. Her health truly had been a rollercoaster. It was always fluctuating due to where her tumor was pressing mostly on in her brain. Everyone has been nothing but kind to our entire family, which is something that we will all be very thankful for. Emmy knew how loved she was by many. That is something that helps me accept this loss. She knew that anyone would’ve done anything to save her if they could, regardless of what that entailed. I think that is why she fought for so long. She didn’t do it  for herself. She was so brave because she did it for everyone else. Emmy wanted to let everyone know that she was going to be okay.

Many of you may know, but our family’s theme for Emmy was “brave.” That word could not fit Emmy any better. I’m not just saying that either. She fought so hard, for so long. She faced having to fight for her life every single day, but she was very courageous at the same time. Christmas 2013, Emmy danced to the song “Brave” by Sara Bareilles. She loved that song and I think that’s what help our family get through a lot of the suffering that we were going through. Emersen was so many great things that I truly could not list them all. The dictionary doesn’t even have all the words to describe her. That is how incredible that she was.

Emersen, you make me proud to be your cousin every single day and that will never change. You have shaped me into who I am today, who I want to be, and what I want for this world. You have allowed me to gain passion not only for medicine, but for children who also have had DIPG and their families. Em, you’ve helped me grasp the true definition of family and love. That is something I will always thank you for. You also always had a love for Batman, which even though I was never into superheroes , you made him my favorite super hero. I would do anything just to curl your hair, hear your laugh and even draw with you just one more time. I love you more than you will ever know. I mean that. Continue to be brave, to dance and most of all, be who wanted to be.

I ask all of you who are reading this one thing. I ask that you hug your friends, family and everyone around you a little tighter and a little longer. Emmy had the best heart and she always had the spunkiest personality, which is something that I will truly miss about her. Seven years was not even close to enough time, but I am absolutely blessed to have had seven whole years of seeing what a beautiful, strong, and inspiring girl she was.

I love you Emmy, I miss you so much already.

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