7-year-old with terminal illness wants letters from your dogs

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A 7-year-old girl in Wisconsin named Emma is fighting for her life after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. Over the weekend, family friends thought asking the internet for dog photos to share might cheer the little animal lover up. Four days later, the family would need a truck to haul in all the letters sent—and that’s not counting the thousands shared online.

“We have received letters from over 20 countries and every state and over 2,000 emails in the past four days,” Geoffrey Mertens, Emma’s father, told the Daily Dot. “The love for Emma is real!”

According to the family’s GoFundMe campaign, earlier this year Emma went from rough-housing with her brothers and playing in the snow to undergoing her first surgery in less than a week. What originally resembled flu-like symptoms quickly progressed into a dire diagnosis.

Barely a month later, the GoFundMe has raised nearly $80,000 and a post calling for dog photos has gone viral. As Emma powers through her radiation therapy and injections, the outpouring of support has been a very positive resource, her father said.

A CT scan revealed a rare and terminal brain tumor called DIPG was causing spinal fluid to pool above Emma’s brain. Additional surgeries and at least six weeks of daily radiation therapy would be needed to possibly prolong her life. The DIPG Resource Network estimates the median survival range between eight months to a year after diagnosis. 

Here are just a few of the very good boys Facebook users sent to brighten Emma’s day.

Posted by Melissa Dennison on Monday, February 25, 2019

Posted by Lindsay Orders on Tuesday, February 26, 2019

“She smiles at all the pictures and laughs at the funny [or] goofy ones,” Mertens said. “Emma has always been a child who just wants everyone to be kind and has always been kind to others.”

Alyse Stanley

Alyse Stanley

Alyse Stanley is a video game and culture reporter based in Virginia with words at Polygon and USGamer. When she’s not writing about memes, she edits Unwinnable’s monthly magazine. You can follow her on Twitter @pithyalyse.