After finding an unusual lump in their two year old daughter’s abdomen in October of 2015, parents Amber and Jeremie Pfankuch received the news that no parent wants to hear, their daughter had cancer.
A pediatric visit soon became a flurry of x-rays, scans, and immediate admission to Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati.
Testing revealed that Emma had stage 3 hepatoblastoma, a type of childhood liver cancer.
Resection was not an option, because her portal vein was involved. Transplant was her only option.
The Notre Dame Key Club raised money shooting hoops at halftime during home basketball games, Hoops for Hope.
They also sold cinnamelts before school as a fundraiser.
The National Honor Society wanted to add to this total, so they contributed the money from the coin drive they do every year for a local individual afflicted by cancer.
Between the two groups, Notre Dame was able to donate $500. There was no question as to who the students wanted to give their donation to, they wanted to help Emma.
On January 26th, 2016 a family faced with the loss of their child, gave Emma her life-saving liver.
Luckily, Emma’s cancer was never found outside of her removed liver and her prognosis is very bright.
She continues to receive chemo as a precaution and will continue to have blood draws and clinic visits for the foreseeable future , but other than anti-rejection medicine for life she should live a long and happy life.
Emma’s family would like to thank Notre Dame high school Key Club and National Honor Society for their generosity and the chance to raise awareness for childhood cancer.
To follow Emma’s progress, you can search “Team Emma Zoomi” on Facebook.
For more information on becoming an organ donor and helping those like Emma, please visit www.donatelifeohio.org. You can say “yes” at the BMV when you receive or renew your driver license or state identification card.
Ciara Conley – PDTimes @PDT_Ciara