Little girl uses art to cope with cancer - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Little girl uses art to cope with cancer

Updated:
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -

It's hard to start thinking of Christmas during the dog days of summer, but the folks over at Phoenix Children's Hospital already have Christmas on the brain.

They've chosen several PCH patients to design cards for the holiday card collection that will be sold to raise money for the hospital.

8-year-old Emma Lee attends Cochise Elementary, home of the bobcats. She is in the third grade and her favorite class is art; she has a passion for painting and drawing.

She loves her family, enjoys eating cheese pizza and adores her school.

"If you ask anyone around here at Cochise, she is just like any other kid. She's got a ton of friends, she has grown up with all the kids, they all take care of her ever since we came here," said Keri Lee, Emma's mom.
 
"Emma was diagnosed with a tumor in her spine when she was four and PCH actually found it, so we were grateful for that," said Keri Lee.
 
Emma was treated at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and underwent 16 months of chemo, finishing in October 2012.

"We spent many hours at the clinic with all those wonderful nurses and doctors and social workers. We are forever grateful to them for that, we've had a long history with PCH," said Keri Lee.

During her treatment and time spent at the clinic, the staff encouraged Emma to draw and paint as a way to pass the time and keep her spirits up.

"We knew that they had this awesome program and that they had this program for kids so that they have an outlet to be able to show what they can do and how they are normal kids," said Keri Lee.

The hospital provides all the materials and offers it as an opportunity to help other kids.

Emma's piece was a perfect snowman, so fitting for the holidays.

You can see her work, along with dozens of other kids', featured in PCH's annual Christmas cards.

"The kids love it. They are so honored to do it and it's exciting, of course, to see their name and picture on cards being sold everywhere, so it's a really good program," said Keri Lee.

As for Emma's prognosis, she will undergo another major surgery in October to fix her scoliosis and kifosis.

"I, as a mom, am more nervous than she is. Only eight, but we are hoping for obviously an excellent outcome. She'll be happier and running again soon," said Keri Lee.

"Emma's cancer, her tumor, there is still some left. We have been told it's just a chronic situation that we are going to have to monitor her whole life. Really, you just go day to day and live in the now. She's going to grow and get married and go to prom and everything else and that's how we live, how she lives and everybody else around us. We have a huge support system. We just take everyday as it comes and she is happy and thriving," she continued.

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