The Smith family urgently request your financial support. They face an uncertain future as they are unable to work while caring for their beautiful 12 year old daughter, Emma, who has relapsed with a rare brain cancer. The family has survived into the fourth year of this struggle with the help of their local community and friends worldwide, but regrettably needs to ask for further assistance.
Emma was nine years old when she was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer on 1st October 2012 after a short illness. She had an immediate surgery to release the pressure on her brain caused by the build up of fluids, and shortly afterwards had a second surgery to remove as much of the tumour as possible. The second operation removed 30-50% of the squash ball sized tumour.
Immediately after the second surgery Emma started a grueling course of radiation therapy which lasted six weeks. With a short break over the Christmas period to recuperate from the radiation therapy, Emma then commenced a six cycle chemotherapy regime that was to last seven months.
The treatments were administered at British Columbia Children's Hospital in Vancouver. During the treatments the Emma's parents stayed for short and long periods at the Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver, often away from their son Charlie who was seven when Emma was first diagnosed.
In August 2013 after further MRI scans, Emma and her family were told that Emma was in remission and that there was no evidence of cancer. Emma began her road to recovery from the ravages of the radiation and chemotherapy treatments, which had taken their toll on her body and mind.
Emma seemed to be doing well, but in August 2104 started to have spells of being unwell, culminating in suspected meningitis. The illnesses did not recede with treatments, and as the family became more anxious further test were made. On 1st October 2014, exactly two years after the first diagnosis, Emma and her family were informed of the devastating news that cancer had been found in Emma's spine. Emma was officially in relapse and very ill.
After a short round of radiation therapy Emma was once again placed into a chemotherapy regime. By December 2015 Emma is into her 13th chemo cycle and is stable.
Why the fundraiser?
Well into the fourth year since diagnosis, Emma's family is suffering financially. Emma's father normally works on ships on projects that involve long periods at sea, and has had to severely curtail his availability in order to look after Emma, who needs 24 hour assistance.
He was due to join a project that would have unfortunately taken him away from Emma and the family over Christmas, but due to his own medical issues is currently not able to go to sea. Not being able to work has increased the strain on already broken finances, and the family now faces the future in a very worrying and uncertain situation.
The family asks for your help to maintain a stable home for Emma as she continues her struggle with this ghastly cancer.
Included at the top of this page is a video of Emma being introduced to the 2015 Tour de Rock team at her school. Emma was a Junior team member of the Tour in 2014.