Emma Pace Saint Louis, MO 13,966 Votes
My family is a miracle. Our story begins 10 years ago, April 6, 2003, when our little Emma Elaine was born. And if you are reading this, Emma is excited to celebrate her 10th birthday at a bowling party in her honor. Emma suffered a brain injury and was born with quadriplegia dystonia cerebral palsy. After spending 38 days at Children’s Hospital, she came home greeted by her older sister, Shannon-17, brother, Kyle-15, mom-Trish and dad- Kyle. Emma is a bright and smart 4th grader. Although she cannot walk and is non-verbal, she has many friends. Emma loves to swing, swim, and go bowling. Emma is an inspiration to those she knows and meets. Her school had a disability day; it was a highlight for her. Her sister, Shannon, volunteers with SPENSA, and her cousin, Brett, is studying physical therapy at SLU.
Emma uses a pediatric wheel chair and is over 70 pounds, so lifting her and her heavy chair in the car is a challenge. Emma is always going somewhere; to the pediatrician, neurologist, getting botox, etc. Lifting her safely is difficult, especially now, as I recently had shoulder surgery and Shannon had knee surgery. Her brother and sister are wonderful and a huge help! They are enjoying high school and in a few short years will be off to college pursuing their dreams. Dad too is a huge help, I work full-time, he’s “Mr. Mom”, but he too is disabled. Six months after Emma was born, her dad was re-diagnosed with stage four cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, first in 1989 and then September 2003. The doctors said he should be in the medical books. After chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, he is now cancer free. In 2005, Kyle fell very ill with a pneumococcal bacterial infection and went into septic shock. It was very severe and his extremities ultimately suffered, he lost all his toes and has difficulty walking. Today, he is doing better, but continues to have many surgeries on his feet. Our current van is ten years old with almost 190,000 miles and has issues. A wheelchair accessible vehicle would be beneficial to our family and give reassurance that Emma can be safely transported. It would make our daily life challenges, easier. I love the quote “Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass…., it’s about learning how to dance in the rain!”