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.
Tune in tonight (Friday, February 27th) on HBO at 10:00pm to see the VICE Special Report: Killing Cancer. The report shows how researchers are using viruses – such as the common cold virus, measles and H.I.V. – to treat various types of cancers. Part of the report will focus on the T-cell therapy and Emily’s treatment. Another T-cell patient, 11-year old Tori who was treated in the same clinical trial as Emily, will also be featured.
Back in July, Emily was asked to be part of the Stand Up to Cancer Telethon (the telethon aired on September 5th – I’m just now blogging about it 🙂 ). As part of the telethon they filmed a segment about Emily and highlighted the T-cell therapy treatment. Stand Up to Cancer has provided millions of dollars in funding to help continue research on the T-cell therapy. We filmed back in July which included a trip to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, PA. Stand Up to Cancer, along with Mastercard who was a sponsor of the telecast, wanted to surprise Emily with something fun. She L-O-V-E-S to visit Nemacolin! We took her there in 2010 shortly after she was diagnosed with leukemia to get away for a weekend and just do something fun. She was scheduled for some tough chemotherapy the following week and we knew she would likely spend some time in the hospital, so we wanted to do something special with her. We decided on a trip to Nemacolin which she enjoyed so much and continued to talk about it over the years. We had not been back to Nemacolin with Emily since then although she had asked to go back many, many times! Everyone decided that a trip back there should be her surprise!
At Nemacolin, Emily had a behind the scenes tour of the zoo where she fed lions, tigers, and bears (bears love marshmallows!). She also bottle fed a baby goat and visited a few other exotic animals. She went horseback riding and ended the day with ziplining! She loves adventure and had a great time! Thank you so much to Nemacolin Woodlands, Mastercard, and Rachel and the film crew for making for making the experience incredibly fun for Emily!
Emily was invited to attend the live Stand Up to Cancer telethon in Hollywood at the Dolby Theatre. It was awesome to have that experience! The night before the event we even had a chance to see Dave Matthews perform a few songs since he wasn’t able to be live for the actual taping (Emily is now a Dave Matthews fan!). Emily walked the red carpet and was excited to see Ariana Grande perform at the live event. We went to the after party and met Katie Couric! Emily also met a few other girls her age who are fighting cancer (I wish we had their names!).
If you missed the live broadcast you can see Emily’s segment here:
And watch the entire 1-hour show here: