We haven’t posted an update here for awhile! Emily is still healthy and happy and almost 4-years cancer free! We’ve started the Emily Whitehead Foundation to raise awareness and research funds for childhood cancer.
You can continue to follow Emily’s journey here:
Emily’s Facebook Page
Emily Whitehead Foundation
Emily Whitehead Foundation Facebook Page, Twitter, or Instagram
Thank you so much for your messages and for checking in on Emily!
The Whitehead Family
Our only Christmas wish is for Emily to stay cancer free and healthy. She is our Christmas miracle and we can’t imagine life without her. We are very grateful to be spending this time together. Thank you for being part of her journey and continuing to give our family love and hope, especially when we needed it most. Thank you for keeping Emily in your prayers. Hold your family tight and enjoy every moment this holiday season.
The Whiteheads – Tom, Kari, Emily & Lucy
Photo credits: Family photo – Kari Whitehead Photography; Individual photo of Emily – Christine Chardo Photography
Photo: Tom, Kari and Emily in the new space at the Perelmen Center for Advanced Medicine beside a wall display highlighting the team of doctors and researchers who work on the T-cell clinical trial. Emily has always really liked the photo of the cells right above the doctors!
A few weeks ago we spent the day in Philadelphia at Penn to speak at the Abramson Cancer Center Director’s Leadership Council meeting. We had a chance to talk with a few of the extraordinary people who helped to fund the T-cell research that saved Emily’s life. Some provided private funding or endowments for the research very early on when no one else believed in the research. They all mentioned that after talking with Dr. June that they just believed in him and believed his research would save lives. It was an honor to speak to this group who supported the research from the beginning. Without them, Emily would not be here. One person came to me and told me that her brother passed away from leukemia 23 years ago. The day after she started an endowment fund and has since been providing funding for cancer research. She said she has been waiting 23 years to hear a success story like Emily. It made us realize the importance of sharing Emily’s story so that we can do our small part to raise awareness, and hopefully the needed funding, for pediatric cancer research. We also got to see the new (bigger) lab space where they are modifying the T-cells. After that, we went to visit Avrey and her family. Avrey is 10-years old and recently recently received her T-cells (you can follow her Facebook page Pray for Avrey Walker). She needs a miracle too.
After that, we visited the Penn Museum because Emily heard that there were mummies there – but after seeing the mummies she said they were a little “creepy”. It was a really wonderful day!