Emma is a 17-year-old girl from New Buffalo, Michigan.  Emma was diagnosed in January 2016 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).  She is being treated at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and her Mom, Julie, stays with her when Emma comes to the hospital. They arrived at Lurie’s on July 5th to continue her inpatient chemo treatments.    

We first heard about Emma through Laura Pawuk, Certified Music Therapist at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, in June when she was inpatient receiving her chemo treatment.  Laura told us that Emma liked to play the ukulele and sing.  Laura informed Emma about the AAFH Gift Recipient Program and thought that it would be great if AAFH could give her a ukulele she could take back home and bring to/from her hospital visits. 

On July 8th, Christina De La Peña (AAFH Board Member), Jen Rutili (AAFH Volunteer) and Yoli Alvin (AAFH President) surprised Emma at Lurie’s by presenting her with a brand new pink ukulele!  The pink ukulele was donated by Instrument Exchange-Owner Tom Stading from Batavia, IL. 

Emma was not feeling good when we arrived, however, upon seeing the AAFH Team, she sat up and was very excited to receive her pink ukulele gift.  She said, “I love it!” and “this made my day!” Emma likes to spend time with her large family and she talked to us about her siblings.  She also likes to read and recommended the book called Looking for Alaska by John Greene. 

Emma held the ukulele and played a little bit for us and said she was going to play and sing a lot.  Emma’s happiness was infectious as she made us feel happy also!