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Brave Emily ready for vital treatment

Saturday, 21st March, 2015

Emily Roberts (6) has Diamond-Blackfan anaemia and will soon undergo a bone marrow transplant. Her family is living in Sydney while this happens. Emily Roberts (6) has Diamond-Blackfan anaemia and will soon undergo a bone marrow transplant. Her family is living in Sydney while this happens.

By Emily Roberts

 A child’s birthday is supposed to be a fun occasion with cake and presents, but for one girl it came with her first treatment of chemotherapy.

Six-year-old Emily Roberts has Diamond-Blackfan anaemia, which is a disorder of the bone marrow. 

In Diamond-Blackfan anaemia, the bone marrow malfunctions and fails to make enough red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. 

After spending the last five years undergoing treatment and multiple transfusions, Emily is now well enough for a bone marrow transplant.

Her eldest sister is a match. The family are in Sydney waiting for Emily’s treatment to start and may have to spend up to six months there.

Local nurse Zoe Tonkin, a friend of Emily’s parents, has started a donation page to help them with any extra costs.

“I went to school with Justin and Leesa and I’ve known Emily since she was born, as well as looking after her at the hospital,” Zoe said.

“The biggest thing for the family is that they will have to stay in Sydney for a minimum of six months.

“They will have to maintain their house here while living in Sydney.”

In Sydney they are staying at the Ronald McDonald House.

“It’s a big help but they still have transport and living expenses to consider,” Zoe said.

“The money we raise will be put into their account for the family to use for whatever is needed.”

Zoe started the fundraiser as soon as she heard Emily would be going to Sydney.

“We are lucky in the respect that Broken Hill people are happy to help.

“Emily has had blood transfusions monthly since she was born as well as constant treatment - that’s how she has lived for five years.

“She was six on Tuesday and started her first lot of chemotherapy then.

“She is doing really well though. In all that time, I’ve never heard her complain.

“The family have never asked for help.

“I knew if I asked them to do this they would say no, so I just did it anyway.

“I didn’t expect such a quick response. We raised $2,000 in the first 24 hours.”

Now they have raised almost 72 per cent of the $5,000 goal.

“I thought if we could at least raise half of that it would help.

“So many people have made contact and want to donate fortnightly because they know how expensive it will be.”

Zoe said she is also planning to hold some fun days to raise money.

For more information or to donate, visit https://www.mycause.com.au/page/89670/helpprincessemily, the Facebook page “Help Princess Emily” or contact Zoe on 0428 475 560.

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