Even though she’s just seven years old, little Emily felt the need to thank Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in a big way.
Before we talk in more detail about the inspiring feat this child accomplished, it’s important to know a little about Emily’s background. Emily suffers from a condition called juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM), a condition so rare that it affects just 3 in 1 million children.
What is Juvenile Dermatomyositis (JDM)?
JDM is an autoimmune dysfunction that manifests itself in children, primarily in females. The body’s immune system turns against itself, attacking its blood vessels. This rare condition causes some or all of the following complications:
- Muscle weakness
- Inflammation in muscles
- A distinctive red rash on the face, eyelids, hands and many of the major joints
- Calcium deposits under the skin
The condition also results in fatigue, poor coordination, and when it becomes particularly severe, simple tasks like walking up stairs or lifting light objects become painfully difficult for the affected individual.
Unfortunately, doctors still aren’t entirely sure what causes the condition, although popular belief holds genetics responsible. Because the condition is so rare, it often gets misdiagnosed for other muscle diseases like muscular dystrophy.
Emily Overcomes all Odds
Despite the rare nature of this condition, Emily eventually found her way to TSRHC’s pediatric rheumatology clinic, where she receives treatment.
Because of this special treatment, Emily wanted to extend her thanks, but wasn’t quite sure how. Eventually she and her family founded Emily’s Monkeys. With the help of friends and volunteers they have been making sock monkeys to give to children currently awaiting surgery and holding other fundraisers to raise money for TSRHC.
Last month, Emily’s father Josh suggested asking her favorite donut shop, The Hole Thing in Forney, Texas, if they would be willing to co-host a fundraiser. Without any hesitation, The Hole Thing wholeheartedly agreed. Both agreed to make 720 monkey-shaped donuts, flavored with chocolate and banana.
All 720 donuts lasted just 48 hours. $2,120 was raised, and The Hole Thing opted to match the funds. A check totaling $4,239 was delivered to TSRHC during one of Emily’s Monkeys popular sock monkey making parties on Saturday, June 8 at the old firehouse in downtown Forney.
Great work Emily, and thank you for your efforts!