Monthly Archives: August 2012

This is what Tough looks like

Since February, Emily Love has been poked and prodded, had surgery and received chemo, been given steroids that made her gain weight, lost and then regained the ability to walk, said farewell to her pretty blonde locks, and struggled with mouth sores, diarrhea and nausea, to name a few.

Emily’s life has irrevocably changed since she was diagnosed with Leukemia. But through it all, she has been strong.

She has persevered through the worst treatments, endured long hospitalizations, maintained a positive attitude while being separated from her siblings, her parents, and the comfort of her home. She has made new friends, endeared her doctors and nurses with her mischievous personality, and made us laugh when we otherwise might have cried.

Yes, Emily Anne Love is what TOUGH looks like.

At just two years old, she is fighting a battle for her life and giving us no doubt but that she will win.

The good news is that Emily is not fighting alone. She has family and friends, old and new, who are walking this journey with her. She has doctors and nurses providing excellent care and the best expertise research has offered. She has God, her Father, holding her in His arms every day, every moment, through every painful step she takes.

Right now, we have a chance to help make Emily’s battle a little easier. We know that medical research has already improved Emily’s chances of success. Treatments are available for her today that weren’t discovered just five years ago. Thanks to diligent medical professionals and compassionate donors, the knowledge of how best to treat Emily’s Leukemia is improving every day.

Three close friends of Emily’s are trying to help make even more research possible. Jennifer Howell, Heather Nickell, and Marissa Tingus are running the Nike Half Marathon  in Emily’s name and raising funds on behalf of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). In just over a month, these three women will pound the pavement of San Francisco, thinking of Emily every step of the way.

The money they raise will go toward funding research into blood cancers, like Emily’s. Helping make more discoveries possible that can help Emily and all the children as TOUGH as she is.

Click on any of these three women’s names to visit their fundraising page, where you can read more about what inspired them to run 13.1 miles in Emily’s honor. And if you are able, click ‘Donate Now’ on their pages and let Emily know that she’s not running her marathon alone.

Jennifer Howell | Heather Nickell | Marissa Tingus

Jennifer & Heather with their inspiration!



“I have thought many times this is crazy I wont be able to do this. And then I read the updates about Emily and see that she is a fighter. She is not giving up. She is only two and she is my inspiration to push through this for her.”                                           ~Marissa Tingus


Goodbye Methotrexate!

Color with me!

Emily came home from her fourth and final round of high-dose Methotrexate today. Once again, she cleared the drug from her system in record time! The round of chemotherapy we were all the most worried about has turned out to be a bit of a breather.

In the midst of this 8-week interim Maintenance phase, we found out that Emily’s spinal fluid is clear of Leukemia cells and that she’s just a couple months away from her final [lengthy] treatment phase…and that ultimate goal: her treatment finish line!

In two weeks, Emily will begin her delayed intensification Maintenance phase – a two month treatment phase that will include three spinal taps and several weeks with nearly daily chemotherapy infusions. It will be a final intense push to eradicate the cancer from her blood before she sets in for two years of Maintenance to make sure the Leukemia never comes back.

Playing with her new Beads of Courage

Thank you for all of your prayers over these past two months. We have truly seen God answer those prayers by allowing the Methotrexate to eliminate cancer cells without causing Emily undue pain. After being so worried about the Methotrexate, we are thrilled to finally have it behind us. The Lord has truly walked Emily through this phase and we have no doubt He will continue to carry her through the last two phases of her treatment.

Ruby Slippers & a Lilo for our Stitch

It has been a week of blessings for the Love family ♥

After Emily cleared her third round of Methotrexate even FASTER than her previous two, she was set to be released from the hospital early Monday morning. She stayed a little longer in order to get adequate fluids to help prevent side-effects but was home in time to greet her siblings back from their weekend visiting their cousins.

The Howell and Love children had a FUN weekend!

During her hospital stay, Emily got some one-on-one time with one of her favorite nurses, Nicole, a fellow home-schooler who always has a smile for Emily, a word of support for the family, and a story of encouragement to uplift.

‘Ohana’ means family and Emily’s nurses are a part of hers

She also had visits from Grandma and Papa Love and her cousin, James, who brought a very special gift for Emily. A pair of glitter red Toms, in the size Emily will wear when her 2 1/2 years of treatment are at an end. On the sole of the shoes is one word: HOPE.

James gives the gift of HOPE

Emily loves her Ruby Slippers

Grandma & Papa hang out with Stitch

There really are no words to describe how sweet and special this thoughtful gift is. When Emily was diagnosed, she wasn’t walking at all. Today, she’s back on her feet, and one day, sooner than we can imagine, Emily will fit these shoes properly and wear these soles right through. Thank you, James, for giving all of us a reminder of the hope we carry in our hearts.

HOPE: A sweet reminder of how far Emily will go

Another friend came to visit Emily and the Loves this week, and this friend gets to stay. Little Stitch now has a Lilo to stay by her side. Kevin Cameron, a high school friend of Christina’s, army veteran and owner of Alpha K9, donated a fully trained therapy-service dog to Emily this week. Named Lilo, this beautiful black Belgian Malinois gets to be Emily’s constant companion as well as a best friend to the entire Love clan!

Kevin brings Lilo home

Lilo & Stitch

Praise the Lord for the healing He brought Emily in this round of treatment and the special people He has used to shower Emily with love. She is doing splendid this week. No more mouth sores or bum deterioration. Her blood counts are all good and she is scheduled for her last round of high-dose Methotrexate next Friday, August 10th.