In 2014, Emma was treated for a very common childhood illness, strep throat. It’s normally something a course of antibiotics can handle, so in a short time her symptoms dissipated, but Emma was physically exhausted. She slept all day in the nurses office at school on a Friday and then went home to sleep more. While normally a little peace and quiet is something any parent would be grateful for, Allyson (aka Mom) knew something was wrong. Emma was a very energetic child and was always bouncing off the walls.
By the following evening, Emma’s mother brought her to a local emergency room due to a sudden onset, high fever. After an extremely abnormal test result, Emma was transferred and admitted to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, where she received three blood and plasma transfusions.
Three days later, a biopsy was performed, confirming every parent’s worst nightmare—Emma didn’t have one of the more common leukemia’s (ALL or AML)—she had both. A rare form of childhood cancer called acute undifferentiated leukemia. After multiple rounds of chemotherapy at Connecticut Children’s, Emma received a life-saving bone marrow transplant from her older brother, Alex. She then spent six months at home in isolation. Today, Emma is cancer-free and will soon turn 12 years old. Moreover, she is a vibrant and outgoing girl who loves to dance, paint and conduct science experiments.
Emma’s impressive fan base includes the Plainville Dairy Queen, where owner Chris Savio and manager Lauren Heslin share a tremendous passion for raising money to benefit Connecticut Children’s Medical Center. Every day, they invite their customers to make a small donation to the Medical Center. Last year, their efforts resulted in more than $36,000 raised to support Connecticut Children’s.
When asked what inspires them to fundraise, they simply say, “the kids!”
“Every year I get to meet more and more children who are going through so much. This is the least I can do to help,” Chris said. “When I met little Emma a few years ago and she was so vibrant, hugging everyone she met, I could not believe she was a cancer survivor! I want to help make all of Connecticut Children’s patients healthy, just like Emma.”
This year, the Plainville Dairy Queen has organized its first-ever Miracle Walk to support Connecticut Children’s. The walk is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 12, and will commence at 9 a.m. at Norton Park in Plainville. The registration fee is $25, and all proceeds will benefit the Medical Center. Strollers and well-behaved, leashed “fur babies” are welcome! Join Plainville Dairy Queen in supporting Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and kids like Emma!