Emma is home for the Holidays


By Kelly Rich



Emma Fleming, the youngest daughter of Kevin and Tiffany Fleming and a kindergartner at Westside Elementary, was recently diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL).

Emma’s dad says, “She has always been tired a lot but in hindsight I guess it was a sign. One day she woke up from a nap and complained with hip pain. She would say her leg hurt and we were just thinking it was growing pains or something like that. Emma didn’t sleep good that night, she wasn’t running a fever or anything so we were just going to make an appointment that Monday to see her doctor.

“She slept fine on Saturday. Then Sunday evening, Nov. 27, she began running a fever. We went to Sumner Regional and they sent us to Vanderbilt because they could do some tests there that Sumner couldn’t do.” After having a series of tests and blood work performed the family was lead to a room and it was explained to them that Emma had acute lymphocytic leukemia. Childhood acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). The family was shocked. The doctor’s, however, told them it’s common and very treatable, which was very reassuring.

Her dad explains that she has actually been pretty lucky with her treatments. Everything has been going the way it is supposed to. She had a spinal tap, where they drew out some spinal fluid to test and no cancer cells showed in the fluid. Then they took a bone marrow sample, and that did come back positive.

On Wednesday, Dec. 7, Emma did her happy dance as the doctors told them that she was doing well and her blood count looked good, and she was going to get to go home. Emma’s parents said, “The nurses and doctors have been amazing. They are good about explaining things and most importantly they were great with Emma. We appreciate all they have done for us.”

Emma will go every Thursday from now on until she goes in ‘maintenance’ then she will go once a month to Vanderbilt for outpatient Chemo therapy. She goes back on Dec. 29th for another spinal tap and bone marrow sample.

You can follow Emma’s story on her Facebook page, Emma’s Road to Recovery.

The family also has a Go Fund Me account https://www.gofundme.com/emma-flemmings-medical-fund.

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By Kelly Rich

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