Emma Mertens, 7, suffering from persistent headaches, blurred visions, and limb weakness would soon receive traumatizing news that she had Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). A condition that results in a brain tumor.
She underwent two surgeries to reduce the swelling and would soon start radiotherapy. The condition is considered fatal. Less than 10% of children diagnosed with it do not survive for more than 2 years after the diagnosis!
While the condition was taking a huge toll on her health ,some things remained constant; her immense love for dogs and her family’s support. To raise her spirits, her family urged dog owners to post their dog photos on a Facebook page created for Emma. (Team Emma-Emmalovesdogs7). They would soon start receiving letters of dog pictures from all over the world accounting to over 75,000 letters and photos.
Emma’s affection for dogs and fight for life had gotten the attention of so many and would soon catch that of the local police from her hometown; Hartland, Wisconsin. The police unit organised a special surprise for the sweet little girl.
One rosy saturday, they lined up on the street outside her house with approximately 40 K-9s and made Emma and her family’s day as the dogs would each take turns to let the little angel who adored them give them her attention .
Emma’s parents took it to social media to express their feelings;
“There are no words….Pure Joy! Thank you to everyone who took the time to organize and participate in this. Emma is still all smiles! Over 35 different departments and many more K9s and officers.”
You may be thinking that was all the officers did, here comes the juicy detail! Each of the officers available and their K-9s left Emma Mertens little plush K-9 dolls for when she might need a little hug from them. She was overwhelmed by the gesture of the thoughtful officers and took no time to arrange them for a snap and show it to the world.
Looking forward to Emma’s recovery, her family has managed to fund raise over $125000 on her go-fund-me page #Team Emma-Fight Against DIPG. The funds are to cater for costs associated with the treatment of cancer; medical bills and living expenses as well.
Every shadow, no matter how deep, is always threatened by morning light. Even though things don’t look so good for Emma Mertens, the collective efforts of strangers, her family and her will to fight DIPG sure does make every day a brand new day for our little girl.