The young selfless girl who has previously gone viral for encouraging people to donate to her dog charity has tragically passed away just 11 months after her awful diagnosis.
Wisconsin-based Emma Mertens was a child with an undying love for dogs. Instead of desiring birthday gifts like most children, she would ask people to donate to animal charities instead.
Unfortunately, the 8-year-old gentle soul was diagnosed with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a rare and aggressive form of brain tumor.
After requesting her supporters to receive pictures of their furry pets following her diagnosis, the girl was inundated with tens of thousands of sweet letters and photos from around the world.
Despite being overwhelmed with her disease, Emma decided to launch Emma Loves Dogs Foundation while dealing with the deadly tumor.
Previously, the girl was visited at home by 40 K-9 dogs and officers who came to ease her mind and provide her with some relief from the taxing brain tumor.
Sadly, little Emma has passed away on November 17, 2019, just 11 months after she was diagnosed with DIPG.
Back in August, just days before the girl’s birthday, the 8-year-old underwent an experimental procedure that the family hoped would prolong her life.
“For this 8th birthday, Emma wants to help as many animals as possible, and has asked us all to help. Please help us honor her request by supporting the new Emma Loves Dogs Foundation,” father Geoff wrote online in Emma’s name.
“This Foundation will provide financial assistance to individuals and organizations that share Emma’s passion for helping animals such as; Police K9 units, Non Kill Animal Shelters, and more!”
After the surgery, Emma returned to school but was once again brought to her bed after the headaches and the vomiting re-emerged.
With no options left for the family to resort to, the parents knew that the ever-growing tumor would soon cost the girl her life.
“What a difference one day can make. Childhood cancer is cruel!” the parents wrote during Emma’s final days.
“The last two-way communication we had with Emma was beautiful. Tammy asked her several questions and Emma would squeeze her hand for ‘yes.’
“Emma indicated that she isn’t scared. Emma was asked if she was happy and she squeezed her mom’s hand! Unreal, this girl is amazing. She is happy! That warms our hearts.”
After the tragic passing, Geoff requested Emma’s supporters to keep her memory alive.
“She fought so hard but it was time to go home and leave the pain behind. In her final hours, we told her how many people love her and that it was ok to go. We will miss her dearly,” he wrote.
“In lieu of gifts and flowers, We are asking that you keep Emma’s memory alive by supporting her foundation at www.emmalovesdogs.org. Through all of this battle, all Emma wanted to do was spread kindness and help animals.”
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