I am a follower of a great number of blogs. That's how I "met" Emily Hubbel. Shannon, Emily's mom, had a wonderful blog that I read daily for many months. In her blog, she introduced the world to her girls. At the time I started following along, Emily was a happy, healthy little girl. She was your typical little girl who loved playing with her sisters and loved Justin Bieber. I enjoyed her posts and got quite a few chuckles over Emily's antics. Kids do the darndest things,lol....I especially enjoyed Shannon's blog because they are a local family, living about an hour away in Richmond, Virginia. That made everything very relatable for me.
Well on 12/18/2010, the lives of the Hubbel family were changed forever. Emily had a high fever and complained of stomach pain and was taken to be checked out. What happened next? Every parent's nightmare: They found a tumor. Emily was soon diagnosed with Stage IV Ganglionueroblastoma. Emily had surgery and they removed about 70% of the tumor. Since then, little Emily has been fighting for her life, enduring several rounds of chemo, stem cell transplants, and other painful treatments in hopes of curing her cancer. It has been a long, hard road for the Hubbel family, but Emily is a beautiful, courageous little girl and has continued to fight this horrible disease, often with a big, bright smile on her face.
Over the past year, Emily has endured a lot. She has been sick often while battling cancer, and she has had to be hospitalized many times. She's had to endure a lot of pain, high fevers, surgeries, and other treatments that no innocent child should ever have to endure. Recently, the Hubbels got news that no parent wants to hear: More spots were found, this time on little Emily's skull and spine. Despite all of the vigorous treatments, Emily's neuroblastoma has progressed. So now, the fight isn't to cure Emily's cancer, it is to simply keep her condition stable in hopes of finding other treatments that may help her. The bony lesions that Emily has are the hardest to treat, and the main concern now is not to remove them, but to keep them from spreading for the time being. Emily has a few treatment options at the moment, but they are rather invasive and offer no guarantees. I am not a doctor and I don't claim to understand all of the medical terminology, so rather than go into specifics and risk putting misinformation out there, I am just going to speak from the heart, as a Mom, and as someone who has followed Emily's journey from the beginning.
Right now, the doctors have told the Hubbels that they will "do everything they can". As a parent, that would scare the shit out of me. A doctor not having any easy answers when a child is suffering from a progressive cancer? That is the scariest thing a parent could ever have to face. I cannot even pretend to know how the Hubbels feel as they face this new development, and my heart breaks for them. No child should ever have to endure this kind of fight, and no family should have to watch their baby suffer. I don't know why kids get cancer. I don't know why a child can be seemingly healthy one day and be literally fighting for their life the next. It seems so unfair. Unnatural. As a mother, it terrifies me. I have been blessed with 3 beautiful, healthy children. I do not take this for granted, and every day I hold them tight and love them to the best of my ability. They say that children are on loan to us from God...I believe this is true. But I don't understand why any of these precious children are made to suffer. No child deserves this, no family deserves this. Emily Hubbel does not deserve this.
I know there are a great number of stories online about children who have life-threatening illnesses. I know that no one likes a sad story. I know that some of these stories are scams from awful people trying to get a quick buck. I get that. But Emily Hubbel is a REAL little girl from my local area. Her family is real. Her struggle is real. This is one of the strongest little girls I have ever seen. She is fighting this horrible disease with courage and grace, and she is up against her biggest fight yet. Emily's mom, Shannon, is asking others to help spread the word about Emily's story and childhood cancer in general. The more awareness there is, the better hope for a cure in the future. So please, send love and prayers out to little Emily and her family. Help spread the word. The more love and positive energy going to Emily, the better.
For more information about Emily's Journey and how you can help, please visit: