Philipsburg’s Virtual Hope Express to Raise Money for Pediatric Cancer

The Virtual Hope Express (VHE) will be rolling through Philipsburg, PA again on Saturday, September 14!

We will leave our house (Emily Whitehead’s house) at 6:00 PM and end at Corban Potter’s house 2 miles down the road. Following the run / walk / ride, we’ll celebrate Philipsburg’s two cancer beating kids with a picnic at Corban’s house!

What is the Hope Express? Each year, a team of runners leaves Hershey, PA the Thursday evening before the Penn State Dance MaraTHON and runs relay style 135 miles to the Bryce Jordan Center (BJC) where THON is held, carrying letters from the children of the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital to the BJC in State College, PA for the THON dancers. On September 14, teams across the country (New York! Texas! Chicago! Philipsburg!) will be joining together, each to run 135 miles, just like the Hope Express does in February. The Philipsburg VHE will run from Emily’s house to Corban’s house – two children from our town who have fought cancer. It is just under two miles, down hill. You can run, jog, walk, register your dog, whatever you want! The idea is to raise funds and raise awareness for childhood cancer! Won’t you join us? Register for the Philipsburg, PA, team here (choose 2-mile walk/run).

When you register at the link above, you are making a $25 donation to the Hope Express on behalf of our team. The evening of 9/14, we will begin sign-in around 5:00 PM and leave Emily’s house at 6:00 PM. You can run, walk, ride a bike, pull a wagon, push a stroller, skip, ride the hay wagon, or get from A to B however you want! If you register by August 30,you will be guaranteed a super cool t-shirt. Trust me, they will be excellent 🙂

In 2012, Emily and Corban were both sick in the hospital when the Hope Express teams left Hershey. This year, Emily and Corban were both HEALTHY and met the teams in State College at the finish line! This is a very special event for our families and we hope to have you stand with us in our fight against pediatric cancer!

This is the logo for this year’s t-shirt! Are you thinking “Hey! I thought we were supposed to wear gold ribbons for childhood cancer! Why the pink ribbon?” Well, last week, Connie Ehresman-Angus, co-founder of the Hope Express, mom of leukemia survivor Gabe, was diagnosed with breast cancer. In her honor, we have improved our logo a little bit to include a pink ribbon with her initials. Remember, if you register by this weekend, you’ll receive a t-shirt with your registration. Additional shirts can be purchased for $12 each. The logo has other meanings as well! If you know Corban, then you know he loves tractors! If you know Emily, you know she loves dogs, butterflies, and purple! Hope to see you there!



Emily’s Going to Disneyland…and Hollywood!


Emily has been doing well and keeping busy the past few weeks. She has an appointment today with Dr. Powell in State College and will get blood work. Everything seems to be going well – she looks good, feels good, and has a lot of energy. Doctor visits and blood work still make us nervous though. She has been having a lot of foot pain. She’s had x-rays and been to a podiatrist but so far nothing seems to be wrong. We think that maybe we stopped physical therapy too early last year and we’ve decided to start taking her again this week. She went to an art camp last week at Penn State and they did a lot of walking – she was usually limping and complaining of foot pain by the end of the day. Hopefully with more physical therapy her foot pain will get better. We’ve been trying to take more walks at home to prepare for all the walking she’s going to to do next week at Disneyland! Our trip has been finalized and we are leaving for California on Saturday for 9 days. We plan to spend a few days at Disneyland, then a few days in San Diego visiting family, then a few more days in LA. Emily will attend Variety magazine’s Power of Youth event on Saturday the 27th. She was invited by Tyler Posey (MTV’s Teen Wolf). The event honors young actors who volunteer their time with various charities. There are 5 actors being honored at the event and they invite families who have been helped by the charities they represent. Tyler works with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) and he saw the “Fire with Fire” documentary that Ross Kauffman directed and invited Emily to the event. LLS has contributed millions of dollars to the CART-19 research trial (T-cell research study). She is really excited! We looked at photos from previous years and several other young actors from the TV shows she watches attend the event. Tom and I are pretty excited too. I mean, we’ve spent many, many, MANY hours watching Disney and Nick TV shows in the hospital with Emily and we think we will be pretty excited if we get to see some of the teen stars too! Is that weird? As parents, the only TV we get to watch is Disney and Nick so we know those shows well 🙂

We will update with her blood work results as soon as we know on her Facebook page. We know many of you pray and anxiously wait for the results along with us! We expect good results but we’ve been reminded over the past few weeks that things can change when you least expect it and we still cherish each day we have with Emily.

Recent news about the T-cell treatment and/or Emily’s story:

Sky Magazine

  • Dr. June was awarded the Philadelphia Award – this is a GREAT video: