CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Have you ever seen more beautiful photos?
Emily Miller is a Charlotte 7-year-old dealing with a double-whammy -- autism and neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer. She's pictured here with her 4-year-old sister Sadie, her mom Melanie, and her now-one-month-out-of-the-tummy baby brother Reid.
Emily was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in July of 2012. Because she's also autistic and non-verbal, it's hard for her parents, Melanie and Tim, to know how she feels.
"But I know the worst part for her is her mouth sores," Melanie says. "I know she hates having to stay home so much. I hate that I can't consistently keep her in the autism therapy schedule, or the swim lessons I know she loves. She'll just suddenly feel sick and we have to rearrange at the drop of a hat."
Emily's chemo impacts her appetite. She's on a nightly tube feed.
"We would tell other kids who are battling cancer to stay strong and try to find time to do the things they love with their family," Melanie says. "I know Emily would say that if she was able to communicate with words. She's the strongest little girl we know."
Emily loves to paint, swim, play with her tea seats, have books read to her, do jigsaw puzzles, watch Bubble Guppies, jump on bounce houses, eat macaroni & cheese, fruit snacks, pancakes and play on a swing set. She loves Dr. Suess and Llama Llama books and is the absolute happiest when at the pool and beach.
And I love this…
If Emily was able to verbalize three wishes for herself, her mom says she'd say:
-- "I want to be well enough to go to school full-time."
-- "No more chemo!"
-- "When I grow up I want to be a beach bum."
Read more on Emily's FB page >> www.facebook.com/EmilyErinfightslikeagirl
I heard about Emily through The Isabella Santos Foundation.
The ISF has its annual 5k THIS SATURDAY -- September 26th. There are still spots available if you want to sign up! I'll be there. I'll have a booth doing crafts with kids. The 5k specifically raises money for neuroblastoma research.
Go here to register >> www.5kforkidscancer.com
You know how we say Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month should instead be about ACTION? That's a concept Erin Santos dreamed up last year (and I've officially stolen). Her wording is spot-on. Awareness creates action... action might just find a CURE.
So again, the run is Saturday. Check out that link for more.
And feel free to share these gorgeous photos from Flashes of Hope Charlotte NC, or at least stare at them a little longer. I can't stop looking.
A beautiful, beautiful moment in time.