Emmaely R Brain Tumor

MEET EMMAELY: Fun-loving soccer player working hard for a speedy recovery

emmaely with service dog

Athletic and vibrant, Emmaely Rivera was just seven years old when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Normally agile and active, Emmaely’s parents noticed she was having difficulty walking and that her balance was off. Concerned, the Rivera’s brought Emmaely to see her pediatrician who sent the family straight to the emergency room. After several tests, the doctors determined that Emmaely had a tumor on her cerebellum. To treat the tumor, Emmaely required extensive chemotherapy and radiation.

Emmaely’s rehabilitation included three months of inpatient intensive therapy at PSE&G Children’s Specialized Hospital. When she arrived at Children’s Specialized, Emmaely couldn’t walk or talk, but with the help of Burton, the hospital’s staff therapy dog, and her entire rehabilitation team, Emmaely has made great progress. Her therapies even helped her to develop a more positive outlook on her life, helping to put a smile back on her face.

Emma, Emmaely’s mom, was by her daughter’s side every day, she said, “Children’s Specialized became our home away from home. I knew it was the best chance for my baby’s treatment and recovery.” Emma also noted that Emmaely especially loved working with Burton, “Emmaely worked hard at therapy, but when Burton was there she’d give 110%.”

Back at home now, Emmaely still receives treatments and continues her outpatient therapies in New Brunsiwick. She is fighting every day