Emily Gerlach Nascimento
A Kilkenny schoolgirl is looking forward to spending Christmas Day at home with her family - a break from her treatment for leukaemia.
For the last month Emily Gerlach Nascimento, who is just nine years old, has been undergoing intensive treatment following her diagnosis with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.
The bubbly student at the Model School in Kilkenny was at home watching the Late Late Toy Show when she complained of a sore tummy, and her mother, Olivia, noticed she had developed a rash. The diagnosis followed.
“She was a healthy, active child up to the point we found out. It was a huge shock,” Olivia said. “The ground opened and we fell into it.”
Emily started her treatment at Children’s Health Ireland at Crumlin (formerly known as Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children) the very next day.
Emily is coping well with the treatment, her mother says, and responding well.
She will have treatment in Crumlin on Christmas Eve and St Stephen’s Day, but is looking forward to spending Christmas Day with her parents, Olivia and Marcos, and sister Gabriella at home in New Orchard.
Olivia has had to give up work to travel to Dublin with Emily several times a week for treatment, as well as to St Luke’s General Hospital for blood tests. Friends have set up a Go Fund Me page to help the family with the travel and other costs associated with the coming years of treatment. You can help by going to #Fight_for_Emily on Go Fund Me or click here to go directly to the page.
Emily is a member of Kilkenny City Harriers, her friends there are supporting her. Nicholas Dunphy, PRO with the club said: “As one of our under-10 athletes we wanted to do our bit to help Emily and her family. While we can’t get together at the gates of Kilkenny Castle for our (Christmas) run like we normally would, this year we’re asking people to follow Covid guidelines wherever they run and make a contribution to this worthy cause.”
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