On May 3, we traveled to San Francisco, CA to attend the 2023 STAT Breakthrough Summit. Tom and Emily had the honor of opening the conference with a session called "Living With a Cure", moderated by STAT senior writer Matthew Herper.

Matthew has previously covered Emily's story in the 2014 Forbes piece, Is This How We'll Cure Cancer?

In addition to debating ice cream vs. cake vs. ice cream cake (consensus: ice cream wins!), Emily talked with Matthew about the feeling of living a double life and differentiating the "girl with cancer" from who she is today — a soon to be college freshman with aspirations to change the world in her own unique way.

Matthew, Tom, and Emily also discussed the Whitehead family's book, Praying For Emily: The Faith, Science, and Miracles That Saved Our Daughter, and feeling grateful for having the platform to help so many more families that are fighting to save their child's life.


It was great to attend this special event and have the opportunity to celebrate Emily's 18th birthday as a family in San Francisco!

Read more: Now 18, the first child to ever receive CAR-T cancer therapy is ready for a new identity