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Emily’s Fight Like a Girl Story, As Told by Rebecca (Leukemia)

Leukemia Story This is merely the opening page of our story. It’s a family story. An extended family story. . . about a little girl.

I woke up this morning with the following text from my oldest sister, Gena (in it’s exact form) “CALL ME!!!”

I had received the text late the night before. My sisters, Gena’s, beloved family ”fur kid,” Bullet had not been doing well. I thought perhaps things had taken another down turn. However, it was only 6 am EST and they are living in CST. So, i decided to wait until 7 or so to call.

At about 5 after 7 I called. My brother-in-law Mark answered,  “Good morning Mark. It’s Becky. Gena sent me a text last night to call and I just saw it. Is she up yet?” “No,” he replied “Not yet, but I’ll have her call when she gets up.”  I was satisfied with this arrangement and went about my usual routine waking up my youngest, Hannah.

Here’s where you need to pay attention, but I feel it’s necessary to explain. I decided to check Facebook (FB).  Since before going to bed the night before, I had posted about Hannah scoring two goals in her school’s soccer game, where her team had to play short-handed and WON! I was certain someone had commented on her spectacular game savvy and skill!

Instead, I see a comment from my baby sister, Denise’s, oldest son Jacob’s best friend Chris. Saying something to the effect about being at the Wal-Mart where one of  two “wanted” guys were caught by the police. No biggie, until I read a couple status updates below it. I noticed that my oldest daughter, Abby, had commented how she felt her heart was being “ripped from her chest” that she had received some of the “worst news” she could ever receive. The final line was “I love you EAS”. Immediately, I knew those were initials,  and I knew who’s initials they were. My baby sister’s daughter, my niece Emily (11 y/o). My initial thought was, is it related to the arrest Chris mentioned? Was there an accident that someone ran from, and somehow Emily was involved and the arrested person was somehow involved? I know, it makes no sense, but the text, the updates all from people in the same time zone and city but different from mine.

I couldn’t wait for my oldest sister, Gena, to call. I needed answers NOW! So, I called again. Again, Mark answered. “Mark, it’s Becky. Is something going on at Denise’s? Is Emily okay? What’s happening?”  Mark replies, “Yes and no. Let me get your sister. You need to talk to her.”

Gena comes to the phone and begins to explain. Emily hadn’t been feeling too well the last few days. She had complained of feeling tired, a headache and a stomach ache off and on. Yesterday, she was running a fever. Denise took her to the doctor and they ran some tests and sent Denise and Emily home. A little while after they had gotten home the doctor called and said some things weren’t quite right and they wanted to run some more tests to take Emily up to the hospital. She did. Emily had Leukemia. They took her by ambulance to Children’s Hospital in Denver.

All I knew, at that moment, is that on the positive column the diagnosis was made early. The treatment process would be long.

I’m telling my beautiful niece Emily to “Fight like a girl and we’re all going to fight like a girl with you!” My whole family is close. We’re all grown with families of our own and STILL “all up in each other’s business.” At times feeling like everybody is in your “business” and “up in yo grill” is irritating. STILL, I don’t think any of us would have it any other way.

I came from a family of 5 girls and if there’s one thing we know it’s . . . how to FIGHT LIKE A GIRL! And that’s what we’re going to do. . . along side with each other. Along side our niece and my sister’s daughter, Emily.

I know it’s going to be a long treatment process. That’s okay. One of us, alone, may not be that tough but our combined number of 5 sisters, 5 hubbies, 18 nieces and nephews (including the ”bonus” son and daughter of mine), 2 sons-in-law, 1 daughter-in-law, our Mom and our children’s “Grammie” someone’s getting a “butt kickin,” and it won’t be Emily!

So this ”game,” this ”battle,” ain’t over. When the horn sounds or the bell rings signaling the game is over. . . the victor will be standing. That will be our Emily!

Rebecca M
Submitted 4-19-2012

The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.


  1. Rebecca

    Emily’s story is not over yet. She is doing well and has entered the “maintainence” phase of her treatment. This means 12 more months of chemotherapy, barring complicationsl

    Along the way she has had many good moments and memories. She was a “Little Sister” for her home state’s Miss *****(State)****** Competition. The young woman she was paired with won the title in our state and Emily was able to go to the Miss American Pagent in Las Vegas this past January! Emily will again be able to join in the “Little Sisiter” activities as her assigned “Sister” crowns the new state contestant in June.

    Emily’s diagnoses in April of 2012 was one week after I had just been “home” for a visit and it was quite honestly a real shock. I had just seen her a week to ten days prior and she was fine. SInce the diagnosis I have moved back to my home state in the “Central Time Zone” and now instead of being 15-17 hours, by car, away I am a mere 3 hours. This me (“Aunt B”) very happy to be closer not just to Emily but all our extended family! 🙂

    I’m most proud of Emily’s attitude about her “fight”. Several family members had offered to shave their heads when she lost her hair. Emily was NOT willing to have the company. She feels that if she is uncomfortable with “no hair” she should not ask it of another. At her tender age, she realized it was temporary and would pass. WOW what an amazing niece I have!

    Her hometown community’s response has been amazing! From selling orange Leukemia awareness bracelets to a community fund-raiser sponsered through her church (for Emily and another child). It’s very touching and humbling to see the community love in the “small town” midwest! 🙂

    Yes, we’re still fighting! Yes, we will win!

    • Robin

      That’s amazing my daughter who is now 23 has a friend who was diagnosed just before he 9th birthday and she is now a 14 yr survivor Fight Like and GIRL and Kick CANCERS @$$ you go Emily you go girl Hugs and prayers to you and your family from a 2 yr survivor of thyroid cancer


    I am praying for Emily, God is so comfort around her , and I salute to her with great streight hang in there you will win I know win is a victory its own, love ya

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