On August 31st 2006, at the age of 9, our daughter Emily was diagnosed with a type of childhood kidney cancer called Wilms tumor. The surgery to remove her tumor and kidney was successful, but the cancer had already spread throughout her lungs. Over the next three years, Emily endured multiple surgeries, aggressive chemotherapy, radiation sessions and numerous clinical drug trials. She lost so much of her childhood to this disease, but amazingly never lost her smile, her warmth, her strength or her desire to learn, laugh and be a young girl.
Emily took on the challenge of cancer squarely, and from the beginning, never let cancer define who she was as a person. Her courage, strength, continuously positive attitude, grace under enormous stress and her unquenchable faith in God was nothing less than astounding. Her actions and attitude inspired and permanently endeared her to thousands of people.
Despite all the physical and emotional hardships Emily endured, what is truly amazing is the fact that she also took on the role of advocate for other children in need. She never once turned down a request to raise awareness or funds. She was completely dedicated to advancing her causes; Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, Flying Horse Farms, Wigs for Kids, Flashes of Hope and Relay for Life. She is the motivating inspiration behind Emily’s Rainbow Run. Her efforts in raising money for pediatric cancer research were honored by Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital with the creation of The Emily Lewis Youth in Philanthropy Award, to be given annually.
On August 8th 2009, Emily lost her battle with cancer, after fighting so courageously for so long. We ask that each of you continue to honor Emily by being happy, having a positive attitude, using your talents to the fullest, being kind, loving yourself, others and life, being a great friend, never letting life’s difficulties stop you and continuing her quest to find cures for childhood cancer.
With sincere gratitude, we thank you for your participation in Emily’s Rainbow Run and for being apart of Emily’s continuing legacy.
John, Debbie and Andrew Lewis