A terminally ill seven-year-old has asked the world for one thing as she battles a rare form of cancer, messages and pictures from their dogs.
There are sadly not many people alive right now who have not been directly affected by cancer. Whether you have battled it yourself, helped someone else fight it, or even lost a loved one to it, chances are you have encountered it in some way. Despite the tireless research being done to try and reduce the number of people we lose to the horrible illness, so many still suffer every day.
One family that tragically knows that all too well right now is the Mertens of Wisconsin. Seven-year-old Emma was diagnosed with a Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma earlier this year. DIPG is a rare type of brain tumor. It is sadly inoperable and as of right now, no one who has been diagnosed with it has ever survived. Emma and her parents Tammy and Geoff have not given up hope, though.
Emma's parents set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds in order to help pay for their daughter's medical bills. The original $50,000 goal was quickly smashed and at the time of typing this, the running total is at a little more than $107,000. However, aside from help with her medical bills, all Emma wants to make her feel better is for people aware of her story around the world to send her photos of their dogs, as highlighted on her Caring Bridge page.
Upon hearing that dog pics would help cheer Emma up, the world duly delivered. Her email account quickly reached capacity at 2500 messages, and the postbox is always full. While you can find Emma's email and address courtesy if People if you want to send your own pup pics, the family has become so inundated with letters and messages that they've asked people post the photos on a Facebook page instead..
Aside from flicking through an almost endless stream of dog photos and reading through well wishes from around the world, Emma's dad explains that he and the rest of the family are just trying to carry on as normal as well as they can. As we touched upon above, while no one has ever survived the rare tumor Emma has, everyone is hopeful and hoping more than anything that the seven-year-old will make it through this.