Born: August 11, 2010
Diagnosed: October 17, 2016
Died: May 14, 2017
– Embraceful – Accepting – Helpful – Loved! –
Mom and Dad, Ken and Vanessa, remember: “We have many memories of Emma. It was truly amazing to see her grow through her diagnosis. She was a vibrant girl who embraced her sickness. A bucket list of Emma’s was going fishing and fishing we went. She caught 11 fish, one after another. She was worming up the hooks, throwing the fish back in the water and going back for more. It was amazing!!! She was amazing!!!”
Mom (Vanessa) – along with dad (Ken) and brothers Elliott and Eugene – want to share Emma’s story because “before this happened to our sweet Emma we had no clue of the injustice that is being served to all the children who are diagnosed with DIPG. No survivors!!! This monster has taken endless lives without even a proper treatment protocol besides radiation, to eventually succumb to the inevitable. We miss our angel and will never stop telling every person I encounter about her short time on earth that blessed our family. I believe awareness is the number one priority in finding a cure and I urge anyone reading this to tell Emma’s story.”
Emma Buron was born on August 11, 2010 to Vanessa and Ken. She was a happy, content little girl who enjoyed the outdoors – picking worms and fishing – but also playing dress-up and having tea parties.
She and her younger brother, Elliott, were inseparable best friends. Her baby brother, Eugene, was still an infant when Emma was diagnosed with DIPG on October 17, 2016.
“Elliott misses her a lot,” said Ken. “Most nights he watches video of her or pictures of her. I’d say he probably cries for her once a week. He prays for her every night. I’d say he’s having the hardest time. But he still knows to remember her and miss her, and that she’s still here with us.”
During a recent grocery store trip, Elliott was helping his dad buy flowers. While they were checking out, the clerk asked Elliott, “Are you buying those flowers for your mom or your sister?”
“He says, ‘No, my sister’s dead. She’s in heaven. She had brain cancer,’” recalls Ken. “The lady just came to tears and gave him some extra stickers and lollipops for her. It made my day in a good way. He was telling us, ‘She’s okay. She’s in heaven and we’re going to see her again one day.’”
A “Little Old Lady”
When asked to tell a story about Emma that embodied who she was, Ken recalled a conversation he had with her a month following her diagnosis.
“I didn’t think it was fair to tell her that she was going to get better,” he said. “I said to her, ‘Emma, do you want to try to keep getting better?’ She said, ‘Yeah, I still want to try to get better.’
“I said, ‘Okay, honey. Well what if we don’t get better?’ And she said, ’It’s okay, Daddy.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ She said, ‘God told me in my heart I’d be okay.’ I said, ‘Who told you that?’ She said, ‘Nobody. God told me.’”
Despite her circumstances, Emma was content with her prognosis. She never cried and never complained.
“As her disease progressed she turned into a little old lady almost, and had so much wisdom towards the end,” said Ken. “It was just amazing to see her transform from a little girl almost to an adult.
“It was just amazing that she could overcome something like that and still be happy every single day and live every second of her life that she had left.
“I truly believe that she lived every second happy, just for the people around her and she never really thought about her disease. It was amazing to see.”