SWARTZ CREEK — Emma Moorman, 2, was a busy bee of a child with an unceasing curiosity for life, but that was halted the last week in August of this year.
Her parents Rachel and Adam Bedard took her to the doctor for unusual fatigue and loss of appetite.
“I knew something was wrong when she was sleeping so much. It wasn’t like her at all. That was a huge what’s going on moment,” said Rachel.
They were immediately directed to the ER and found out the morning after that Emma had a disease called Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia B Precursor.
Emma’s particular form of Leukemia has a 90 percent success rate with its long term treatment option of two to three years.
“There are a bunch of different kinds of Leukemia, but if you are going to have one, this is the one to have. We are optimistic that this is going great and we won’t have to worry about it again,” said Rachel.
The week after her diagnosis involved two bone marrow biopsies, three spinal taps, and surgery for a port to be placed in her chest for chemotherapy treatments.
The toddler currently goes to the doctor twice a week for treatments and to see if she needs a transfusion. Every four to six weeks she gets a spinal tap and biopsies.
Emma’s sister Ava is in first grade at Morrish Elementary. A dedicated PTO board helmed by Stacey Glynn, is doing everything they can to help Emma and her family.
“It makes us so happy. I’m so proud to be on this board,” said Glynn.
“We take turns bringing them food. Emma loves macaroni and cheese. We also have a sign up sheet for anyone interested in getting involved,” she said.
Beyond that Glynn and her PTO are engaging the entire community by showing up with donation buckets just about everywhere, including football games.
They send home letters to parents, are holding a bracelet sale Oct. 28, and have made T-shirts that say “Team Emma,” of which they have already sold 50.
“They are wonderful ladies. It is shocking how much they have done for us in our first year here. Anything I say we might need, they are on it,” said Rachel.
Glynn speaks highly of her PTO, including Brandi Gibson. “If it wasn’t for them I couldn’t do what I am doing.”
She was initially contacted by Lynn Cavett, who is well-known for her warm-spirited personality and work at the Mary Crapo building. She is also Rachel’s Aunt.
“Lynn is such a wonderful person. She is such a great friend. It feels so good to do this. This is what we are here for,” said Glynn.
Cavett and the PTO are asking the community to come support Emma’s family who do not have enough insurance to cover medical bills. Their current plan only covers 60 percent of Emma’s doctor bills. The family has to pay the other 40 percent themselves
“We applied for a special insurance for parents of children with long-term illness but that takes a long time to even find out if we get it,” said Rachel.
Rachel who works at the JCPenney Salon at Genesee Valley Center is amazed by just how many people in the community and beyond have been so generous.
Her co-workers are putting on a benefit as well. Food will be provided by Olive Garden on Nov. 2 and dinner will be held at the Mt. Morris Eagles Club.
The Machine Shop plan to donate all cover charges from an Oct. 15 show to the family.
Emma’s family members are extremely thankful for the outpouring of community support.
Before this experience Rachel said she wasn’t aware of the myriad ways people can choose to donate.
“This has opened our eyes to a world we would have continued to not know about,” she said.
The spaghetti dinner and benefit for Emma will be held at 1430 E. Bristol Rd. in Burton on Sat. Nov. 5 and will cost $5 per person. Lynn Cavett also is seeking donations for an auction to benefit the family. For more information regarding either event contact Cavett at 810-348-7595 or firstname.lastname@example.org.