At first glance, Emma is just like any other four-year-old girl. However, her life is anything but normal. You wouldn't know it by just watching her dance to her favorite Justin Beiber song, but Emma is a little girl fighting a big disease.
"You want the best for your children, and you never think it's going to be your child," said her mother, Amy Ford. She, with husband Steve say they got the news no parent ever wants to receive.
"She was born with a tumor," said Ford. She says doctors found the cancer in her brain when Emma was two and a half.
"That's pretty hard to swallow. You know, she just wants to be a little girl and do little girl stuff," she said. So Emma started treatments. After weeks and months of traveling to hospitals around the country, Emma received enough Chemo and radition to shrink what was once a golf-ball sized tumor down to the size of a pencil eraser.
"You focus on what you need to do to get her better, to save her life," Ford said. And what doctors had to do was operate. They removed the tumor from Emma's brain, and she was in remission. That was until a few months ago, when they discovered Emma had relapsed.
"I'm not going to lie, this last time was probably more devastating, because we thought we had it beat," said a tearful Ford. This time, it had spread further, in her brain, and now, in her spine. "Well, you're devastated."
Emma's life now consists of trips back and forth to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital for treatments every two weeks. It's hard, not only on Emma, but her mom and dad, too.
"And the whole drive to Nashville is just crying. She just dreads it. 'No more owies, no more owies,'" said Ford, recalling Emma's words. Emotionally, it's tough. It is so draining."
It's also draining to the Ford's wallets, but they're not fighting alone.
"It felt like, somebody's got to do something and get the ball rolling," said family friend Michelle Vincent. "I can't imagine how they feel." Vincent is helping put together a beauty pageant and silent auction to raise money for Emma's treatments.
Ford says the family has to take the diease one day at a time. She knows Emma can win this fight, but she also know it won't be easy.
"We just try to live each day, and just have fun," she said.
The benefit for Emma takes place Sunday, October 23 at the Merle Travis Center in Powderly. All money raised will be paid to the Ford family. Information below:
BENEFIT BEAUTY PAGEANT FOR EMMA FORD SUNDAY, SEPT 23RD @ 2PM
-REGISTRATION @ 1PM-1:50
-LOCATION: MERLE TRAVIS CENTER, POWDERLY KY
-ATTIRE: SUNDAY BEST
-DOOR ADMISSION :$5.00
-TICKETS $40.00 IF PAID BY SEPT 17TH OR $50.00 IF PAID AT THE DOOR.
*4 & UP SUPREME
*OVERALL MOST BEAUTIFUL
*OVERALL BEST PERSONALITY
*THERE WILL BE A QUEEN IN EACH AGE DIVISION & 2 ALTERNATES
*THERE WILL BE A "PEOPLE'S CHOICE SUPREME" ($1 PER VOTE) START COLLECTING YOUR VOTES NOW TO WIN A BIG CROWN & SASH.**
* THE GRAND SUPREME, 0-3 SUPREME & 4 & UP WILL NOT BE DOUBLED CROWN. MEANING YOU WILL BE PULLED FROM YOUR DIVISION. HOW EVER, YOU CAN WIN OVERLLS.
-GIRLS AGE DIVISIONS: 0-11 mo, 12-23 mo, 2-3 yrs, 4-6 yrs, 7-9 yrs, 10-12 yrs, 13-15 yrs & 16
-MAIL ENTRY FORMS TO: MICHELLE VINCENT 1897 ST RT 171 GREENVILLE, KY 42345