MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – A local family affected by pediatric cancer is getting help from a nonprofit and a group of teenagers.
Students at the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology put on a fundraiser in January to raise money for the nonprofit, Children’s Cancer Partners of the Carolinas. They raised over $17,000 and all the money went to local families.
One of those is the Grant family who has a four-year-old named Emma with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
“The emotional toll on her has been harder than we thought,” said Emma’s mother, Jennifer Grant. Her daughter was diagnosed in June of 2017.
“At first we were just completely shocked, distraught, not sure exactly what to do just very, very upset by it,” said Grant. Her husband, Mark said, “I didn’t know what to expect. I was just worried about what they were going to do to her.”
While their family was at The Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston her parents met with a representative from Children’s Cancer Partners of the Carolinas.
“She gave us this beautiful, handcrafted blanket and told us they would give families help throughout the year,” added Grant. Since their meeting the group has helped put the family up at the Ronald McDonald house and sent them on a Christmas vacation.
At first Emma was getting treatment three days a week but now she goes about once every two weeks and gets chemotherapy at home and in the hospital.
“Her anxiety level has increased and she’s kinda changed,” said Grant. “She used to be a happy go lucky, very active, easygoing girl and things have changed for her and she has a lot of emotional weight on her that was totally unexpected.”
Emma’s treatment is expected to take about two and a half years.
“We’ve had some bumps along the way but it’s definitely gotten easier as time has gone on,” added Grant.
Emma is also in a clinical study and her cells were collected for research. Her parents hope that could help find a cure so children won’t have to get chemotherapy.