Emily, Texas, was just 4 years old when she was found to suffer from a rare brain tumor called junior pilocytic astrocytoma, and she underwent treatment at a local hospital. By the time she finished high school, Emily had been out of treatment for a couple of years. She was ready to start college and join a sorority.
Emily describes herself as a nerd. "I'm really into my school work," she said. "I take pride in it." When Emily started her freshman year of college, she decided to join Tri Delta, mostly because she was familiar with the work Tri Delta does on behalf of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®. Even though Emily was not a St. Jude patient, she appreciated the commitment Tri Delta had to St. Jude and childhood cancer. "Tri Delta was what I wanted my college experience to be like," Emily said.
In 2013, just before her sophomore year was set to begin, Emily began to experience dizzy spells and excruciating headaches. The right side of her body went numb and it was difficult for her to write and walk. Emily had to withdraw from school for the fall semester. One of Emily's doctors referred her family to St. Jude for her continuing treatment. "When we came to St. Jude, I felt my future was uncertain," Emily said. "St. Jude restored a lot of hope for me. I'm really thankful for that."
At St. Jude, doctors determined the best treatment plan for Emily. Her treatment, which will last approximately eighteen months, consists of oral chemotherapy taken twice a day. Emily and her mom also visit St. Jude for checkups every two months.
Emily was able to return to college in January 2014. "My love for Tri Delta is magnified now," Emily said. "I was passionate about Tri Delta before, but after seeing firsthand what we do for St. Jude, it's just so important to me. St. Jude means hope." Emily is majoring in Marketing and thrilled to be back at school with her friends and sorority sisters.