Emily's story

I am no longer accepting the things I can't change… I am changing the things I can't accept.

- Matt, Emily’s dad

Emily was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when she was just 16 months old. To battle this terrible disease, she has endured two years of treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.

Emily Turner in lady beetle costume


On Christmas Eve 2009, Matt came home from work and saw that his daughter’s eyes were shaking from side to side. He immediately called an optometrist, who asked for his phone number and said he would call back. A few minutes later the optometrist called and said “Take her straight to the hospital - they're expecting you."

Emily Turner smiling and holding 'LOVE' sign


Emily underwent countless scans and tests as her symptoms got progressively worse. By Boxing Day, she could no longer walk and had lost all her balance.

A tumour was found on Emily's spine. She was diagnosed with a cancer called neuroblastoma.

I could see the terror in Tina’s eyes. We knew something was terribly wrong.

- Matt, Emily's dad

Emily Turner smiling in hospital bed during treatment


Emily underwent a five-hour surgery, which successfully removed 99% of the tumour. She then embarked on two years of chemotherapy and radiation treatment to ensure the tumour did not grow back.

At 3 years of age, Emily was given an experimental drug that worked wonders. Two weeks later the shaking stopped, the dribbling stopped, and she started walking again.

At the end of every exhausting day, Tina and I collapsed into bed. I would hear Tina crying and struggled to contain my own tears.

- Matt, Emily’s dad

After treatment

Treatment affected Emily's speech and coordination. Her regular scans are always a time of huge stress and worry for Matt and Tina, but the family is determined to remain positive about the future.

Although this hideous disease has left its mark, we have beaten cancer and I get to hold my beautiful princess every day.

- Matt, Emily’s dad

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