Emma is the 1-year-old daughter of two childhood friends of mine. She is already brave, fearless, oh-so-sweet, and cute as a button. Next month, she will be undergoing chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. At the age of 4 months, Emma had an ear infection that would not go away, along with a persistent fever that her parents could not get to subside. After many tests, doctor visits, a burst ear drum and loss of hearing, hospital stays, and exhaustion, Emma was diagnosed with a rare disease known as Severe Congenital Neutropenia. You can read more about the disease here. This disease is estimated to occur in 1 in 200,000 individuals. One. In 200,000. Sweet, sweet Emma.
I wish that I could hold my friends close and soothe their angst. I wish I knew what to say to ease their anxiety. I wish, more than anything, that this wasn’t happening at all for them. Seeing how strong they are, and how happy their children are amidst this chaos has truly stirred something in my soul. While I can’t take this away for them, I’m going to do whatever I can. I’m going to find a way to ease something in their lives.
I’ve decided to take my love of running and turn it into something hopeful for this little girl and her family. I have hope for Emma. Since having my little boy in October, I haven’t been running much. It’s time to change that. I will be running for Emma. I will be running to raise awareness of this little girl’s struggle. I will be running for her family. Because if they can keep moving forward, so can I…one step at a time.
I’ll be posting about my training regularly here, and I’ll include updates on Emma whenever I get them. Please keep her and her family in your prayers.
You can read more about Emma’s journey and donate to her cause here.