A little bit about Emily

Emily1.jpegYou've heard about the Bingo fundraiser; let us introduce you to Emily:

Emily Claypool Almeida. A sweet child's name which has come to evoke feelings of inspiration, anguish, hope, perseverance, and faith in our community and beyond.  Emily, big sister to Lily and daughter to Alison and Jose - the kind and friendly family who finds a smile for you no matter what their week may have included -- is the 7 year old girl in our town battling Osteosarcoma - cancer.

An exhausted family has succeeded in keeping us apprised of Emily's journey, with a lot of help from friends and family.  In a recent effort to do just that, Aunt Kate wrote:

"I am so scatter-brained tonight as I sit and try to write about a topic I've written about numerous times over the past 7 months, sometimes unwillingly, other times for therapy. I try to keep the incredible town of Metuchen's parents, teachers, friends, neighbors, all updated on the on goings of Emily's Osteosarcoma. Is she home? What round of chemo are we on? CAT scan time? Another spot? More chemo? Less than 30% survival rate? Less than 30% survival rate. Did I actually just write this? Yep, for the umpteenth time. And I usually follow up with, "Well, why can't Emily be that 30%?"

The family made the decision to be open and up-front with Emily's journey because "The more people knew Emily had Osteosarcoma, the more feedback we might get from others knowing something about this devastating event. The more people knew what was going on, the less Alison (her mom) would have to explain why Emily was wearing a sling on her left arm, bones broken and brittle from the cancerous tumor growing inside her humerous. The more people knew, the less kids would have to aimlessly wonder why Emily wasn't going to be in Campbell School for the first day (or any day) of first grade" said Aunt Kate.

And something incredible started to happen.  "The community was on fire with an odd energy, madness, frustration about this babe being stricken with bone cancer. A meal drop-off was set up by one of my son's friend's moms, and through emails and just chatter with other moms, she was inundated with folks just wanting to drop off a casserole, a Barbie, a pumpkin pie, a Mass card... I think it may have made them feel better to do something, anything. Let's be honest. We all have kids" added Kate.

Emily could be anyone's kid.

Emily.  When asked by Make a Wish what her greatest wish would be, Emily first asked for a way to thank everyone who has been so kind and helpful; humble and unselfish, an inspiration to us all. Her mom and aunt have suggested she think about something to live-out her dream to become a hula-girl instead.  

But seven months of devastating tests and treatments and prolonged hospital stays takes its toll. Vacation days were used-up long ago. When the business reality of life meets emotional devastation, the conflict can be hard.  Balancing the ordinary with this extraordinary situation has naturally been tough. 

If you think you can help, a fund has been established (info below).  And please don't forget Emily's Bingo Night where donations and/or attendance would be so appreciated.        

Friends of Emily
c/o Princeton Federal Credit Union
104 Carnegie Center, Suite 103
Princeton, New Jersey 08540

Checks can be made out to Emily Almeida


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