The Emma Munger Family
The Emma Munger Family Story

Emma’s diagnosis occurred on November 1, 2019. The week prior, Emma kept telling us that her foot hurt. Emma is a Jr. High Cheerleader, so we assumed that she may have twisted it while cheering. With our concern, we decided to ice her foot and keep it wrapped. She hobbled around until Sunday evening in severe pain.

My husband, Mike, decided to take her to the ER. The X-rays were inconclusive, so we were then referred to a podiatrist. On Monday, the podiatrist appointment went well, but, unfortunately, they still didn't find anything that would cause such a severe amount pain.

The next step in the diagnosis process was a referral to see her pediatrician. We secured an appointment for Tuesday where Emma had her blood drawn for a panel. Wednesday morning, the doctor called, and it was decided that Emma needed to get more bloodwork completed.

Wednesday afternoon, Mike had called me at work and told me the doctor had made an oncology appointment at Penn State Children's Hospital and that we needed to get there asap! We arrived and entered through the doors to the Children's Hospital, being greeted with smiling faces everywhere! I can only remember bits and pieces of that day, but the feeling of comfort and compassion was abundant everywhere we had looked, and still, almost a year later, we get that exact same feeling every time we walk through those very same doors! Emma says it makes it easier when everyone shows their love to the children! Emma was admitted the same day, without answers to her pain. It was finally, two very long days later, that she was finally diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma.

That day is when we found out about Four Diamonds, THON and what #FTK means. My kids always remember when we used to go to Boscov's years ago, and how the THON kids were always present with their cans collecting money. We would always dig in the middle console of the car and donate whatever we could find. I wish we knew then what we know now, because we would have dug a lot harder, and a lot deeper into that console to give our last penny!

I could tell you all the horror stories that Emma has experienced, but Emma doesn't want to share those stories. They all “suck” and she doesn't want you to have pity on what she has endured. The good stories are where it's all at, and this is what deserves the limelight!!!

We have met so many amazing and talented people during Emma's multiple stays at the hospital! We have come to truly consider everyone at the hospital as an extended part of our family. The nurses, all those involved with the therapy groups, the doctors, the food staff, the cleaning staff and the Starbucks crew! Every. Single. Last. Person. is so very important to us. Mike and I truly could have not made it without this very amazing support system.

Emma has currently started maintenance, and so she receives her oral chemo at home and will now only go to the clinic once a month for her chemo through her port!

Our family sincerely thanks THON, and every single supporter, for having our children's backs in so many different ways, especially during a time where every ounce of our energy was spent on just trying to keep a household afloat while trying to comfort our sick child. No words will ever truly be able to convey how thankful we are.

What does the Diamond of Honesty mean to the Munger Family? Honesty to our family means kindness, truth & trust! Complete strangers that will support you in every step of the way. The THON Squad is all that and more! The friendships we made with some of the PSU Students will never be forgotten! We will never forget the way you all care and love every single child! Our family will forever support THON, so they can help another child just like Emma!

“For we walk by faith, not by sight”.