A sweet 7-year-old girl suffering from an inoperable tumor received an unexpected visit by over 40 police dogs after touching the hearts of thousands of people with her plea in which she asked dogs to send her letters.
The Wisconsin-based girl, Emma Mertens, is a huge dog lover and wants nothing more than reading letters from dogs while undergoing tough treatment.
What the young girl didn’t expect, however, is that her plea for dog letters would cause over 50,000 people from all around the world to open their hearts and send her letters from their dogs.
Little Emma was diagnosed with DIPG, Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, on January 23. According to the DIPG Resource Network, less than 10% of kids diagnosed with the aggressive tumor survive the first two years following the diagnosis.
Prior to the dreadful diagnosis, Emma began experiencing flu-like symptoms such as headache and fever. Her condition, however, quickly deteriorated.
“By Wednesday, she was rushed into surgery to reduce swelling on the brain. She has had a second surgery now and is preparing for 6 weeks of daily radiation therapy,” the family wrote on a GoFundMe page where they are raising funds for her treatment.
“She is a fighter and she and her family along with everyone on Team Emma are here to fight for her.”
Following her diagnosis, the 7-year-old is set to undergo several months of radiation treatments at the Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Children’s Hospital.
“We’re doing everything we can to beat this thing. We know that we have a very steep road ahead of us. We aren’t going to stop fighting until we can find a cure for this,” Emma’s parents said.
While patiently waiting for her recovery, little Emma, who is a passionate dog lover and dogsitter, finds joy in reading letters addressed to her by pups from around the world.
“The thing that brings Emma joy is seeing dogs, interacting them,” Emma’s neighbor revealed. “It’s a devastating diagnosis but seeing her smile in present day and seeing those moments has carried the hope for the family.”
After the Hartford Police Department K-9 Unit heard of Emma’s condition and her plea, the officers knew they needed to act.
And so, to encourage the girl and help her recover, around forty police officers with K-9 dogs appeared at Emma’s doorstep to surprise the girl. She then got the chance to meet each of the dogs personally and cuddle with them.
“It looked like a parade of police cars and it was all K-9 units coming down the road,” Emma’s father, Geoff Mertens, said.
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