KEEP HOPE ALIVE THROUGH ACTIVISM
I started Emily's Fight in 2013 at just thirteen years old. It was my attempt to find solace when a serious, rare disease threatened to take everything from me. Through the years it progressed from an awareness website to an international campaign with viewers from over sixty countries. I had some of the best and worst times of my life in those years, and everything from writing speeches on hotel floors to watching the city lights come on through hospital windows seemed to show me that nothing is as bleak as it may seem. As I grow up and move further past the times I once believed I would never get through, I am reminded of the fact that I am experiencing something few do. Instead of allowing this to isolate me, I've decided to make this website place of documentation and give my readers the insight I wish I had, not only about going through illness itself, but also about the mental impacts of coming out on the other end. What seems even more important than awareness now is showing other young people that their feelings are valid and that they are never as isolated as they may seem. I hope to be the cool older sister I needed when I was struggling, and if I can't be that, I can at least be honest about this experience.
This is no longer a story of hopelessness, nor a plea for a cure. It is instead a collection of writings and photographs that chronicle the last few years of travel, friendships, and figuring out how to love a body with a few extra scars. It is monthly resources and playlists hand selected to help you through even your worst days. It is for the adventures of the present, and the lessons of the past.
I may spend the rest of my life trying to sort through what happened to my body, but if I'm lucky the next kid won't have to wonder what organizations can make life seem less lonely or what to listen to when they're bored at the infusion center.
May we validate the experiences of young adults with illness and disability, and may we never stop listening to their stories.