As a seven year old with juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM), Emily Hough has accomplished more than most. While receiving treatment at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC), Emily had the idea to create sock monkeys for other children that were preparing for surgery.
Emily’s condition is an autoimmune dysfunction that affects just 3 out of 1 million children. Though it is rare it appears mostly in females. JDM is often mistaken for muscular dystrophy as it has similar symptoms; however, in reality they are very different. The symptoms include muscle weakness, muscle inflammation, red rashes on the face, hands, and other major body joints, and calcium deposits under the skin.
These symptoms are products of the body’s immune system attacking its own blood vessels. Despite being a patient herself, Emily wanted to help others in the hospital, as well as help the hospital itself. Since establishing Emily’s Monkeys, she has had a few opportunities to donate her creations, but she continues to reach higher and higher.
Starting Small and Going Strong
Emily’s father Josh thought it would be a good idea to start a fundraiser, and where better than Emily’s favorite donut shop, The Hole Thing in Forney, Texas? They created special monkey-shaped donuts, doubled all of the proceeds, and delivered it to TSRHC.
Since then, Emily has not let her JDM hold her back. She co-wrote and published her first children’s book based on her sock monkeys and has been paying it forward ever since. Not only has she donated copies of the book to TSRHC and local schools, she is donating thirty percent of the book’s proceeds to three different charities: the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and CureJM.
Photo Credit: Forney ISD Director of Communications Larry Coker