Light the Night


Light The Night!!!


With Emily’s leukemia diagnosis in February, one huge, extended family, along with their many friends, was pulled into a new world.  More like flung into a new world.  It’s not a world in which anyone ever wants to be.  It’s a world that has a lot of not-so-good – like worrying about a little girl’s future – spinal taps – bone marrow biopsies – chemo – steroids –  side effects –  germs –  multiple hospitalizations for random fevers – the never-ending coordination of who will have the other kids on which days  – and trying to keep some kind of routine in a new, unordered world.  All of this is necessary in this new world, but it can overwhelm you.

Posing next to Emily’s picture in the “Remembrances Tent.”

Ethan, William, Adam, Sophie, Chrissie, Emily, Grammie, and Bapa

On the other hand, this new world is also FULL of lights! Last night, hundreds of people – all of whom have been touched by their own versions of this new world – came together to join in the Leukemia Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk – a yearly fundraiser and celebration. And “light the night,” we did!  The event was held at the State Capitol building – it started at 5:00 pm with speakers, entertainment, food, and support – and culminated at 7:30, after it got dark, with a walk around the State Capitol grounds, carrying lighted balloons – white for current cancer patients and survivors, red for family and friends, and gold to honor loved ones who had passed away. Every person walking was walking for someone – someone in their family, like us – a friend – a co-worker – or just walking to support people they don’t even know.  Every person there was a light.



Our Light the Night t-shirts said “I walk – because someone’s life depends on it” – Emily’s t-shirt said “I walk – because my life depends on it.”

Our team was called Warriors for Emily.   Emily was there in full Emily battle attire – her own Light the Night t-shirt, white tutu, polka-dot leggings,  hat, scarf, and sparkly, pink shoes – and that feisty, Emily spirit that has charmed so many and kept her fighting.  Her support team included her family – Chrissie and Jason, Ethan, Adam, William, and Sophie – both sets of grandparents – Jason’s brothers and their families – and many, many employees of the company for which Jason now works, BMC Building.

The Love Family

Halfway through the walk, Emily decided she needed to “walk by myself.” How precious and wonderful, because just six months ago she couldn’t even stand on her own.


Emily’s spirit caught the attention of many people last night – including people who make their living helping patients like Emily.  We met several pharmacists from U.C. Davis Medical Center, where Emily is treated – people who work in the bone marrow transplant department at the Sutter Cancer Centers – and several ladies who work at the Blood Source, both in the transplant center and with the blood donations.  All of these people make their living helping patients – but this is also their calling.  They are lights in our world.

Dancing the night away!

The brightest light, in our eyes, is Emily.  After the walk, there were bands playing on the steps of the Capitol, and Emily’s brothers and sister, along with several cousins, climbed – or were lifted – up on a garden wall so that they could dance to the music and not be in the way of the walkers on the sidewalk.  Emily, in true form, demanded to be placed on the wall so that she, too, could dance!  She stood up there with her smile and her pacifier, in her battle attire, and danced and jived to the music!  What Emily doesn’t know is that she is our music – and she lights our world.

It’s a bit blurry but Emily has rhythm and she was moving to the music!

On another note, this past week, Emily finished a two-week marathon treatment that included two spinal taps and eight days of chemo.  Her ANC was 230 (minimum for decent infection fighting is 500), as of three days ago, but her nurses are expecting it to be zero by tomorrow.  She will go in tomorrow for a platelet and possibly a blood transfusion – then will get chemo and a blood transfusion on Tuesday.  Her hemoglobin is low but her body is too little to be able to handle too much fluid volume in one day.  Next week will be chemo on Tuesday.  After another couple of weeks to recover, she will be through with the Delayed Intensification stage of her treatment and on to the Maintenance phase, towards the end of November.  Please continue to pray – as we know you will.  And, again – and this can never be said too often – thank you!!!!


7 responses to “Light the Night

  1. I was bummed that my trip to Ohio fell on the same weekend and am so thankful you took pictures. It is heart warming to see Emily standing on her own, walking on her own and dancing!!!! The girl showed her rhythm at Pamela and Jeremey’s wedding and I’m happy to see it out in full force. Have to say Ethan and William are showing some mad dancing moves too, LOL. Love these children!

  2. She is soooooooo adorable!!!!! What a great event, it’s nice to know you are not alone in your struggles and there is an army of people behind you!

  3. Great post Momma! There are so many lights in this journey we’re all on with Emily – praise the Lord for every person walking with us.

  4. Emily is so precious! Thank you again and again for the postings. May the Lord give to Emily and the family all that is needed to get through this difficult time and come out victorious in His time.

  5. Donna McCartney

    A friend of Grandma’s asked me to pray for her and I will continue to do so. Rev. Donna McCartney, Healing Grace Ministries

    • Thank you to you and to everyone who is following this blog and praying for Emily. You cannot know how much it means to all of us.

  6. Pingback: LLS Girl of the Year | emilyannelove

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