Celebrating 11 Years Cancer Free
Today, Emily is 11 years cancer free!
On May 10, 2012 our family received the news we had been praying for: No evidence of cancer cells could be detected in Emily's bone marrow. The CAR T-cell therapy worked! Emily was officially cancer free.
Every year since, as many of you know, we have celebrated this anniversary by taking a photo of Emily in our backyard to mark the years since being declared "cancer free". Sharing this annual chalkboard photo with the world has been a cherished tradition. However, this year's photo will be the last.
As a family, we are no longer marking time by years since cancer. And Emily, now an adult, is ready to move forward with her life beyond cancer and change the world in more ways.
We would like to thank everyone for their support, and for sharing in this moment with us these past eleven years! Emily is now considered cured, and recently celebrated her 18th birthday. She is looking forward to graduating high school in a few weeks, and this fall she will be attending college at Penn State University.
In her own words, via Instagram:
I am so grateful for everything I have gotten to experience these last eleven years. While this will be the last official cancer free pic, it certainly won’t be the end of me making the most of my life without cancer. It’s time for me to move on to bigger things and figure out what I want to do in the absence of cancer while continuing to advocate for patients just like me. We are all humans after all — not just cancer survivors. I’m so excited to figure out the rest of my life!
Through the Emily Whitehead Foundation, we will continue to spread awareness by sharing Emily's story — as well as the stories of the many CAR-T warriors who inspire us to do everything we can to help more families have the same outcome as ours.
As always, We Believe!
We are participating in Centre Gives — 36-hour online giving event that recognizes the positive work of local nonprofits in Centre County! Give now to help us support pediatric cancer families in our area. Learn more.