5-year-old girl's fight against cancer inspires family to participate in Pelotonia

Courtesy: Morgan Twehues

The Twehues family is just like any other family. They like to play board games, swim, watch movies together and anything that involves them spending time together as a family.

However, they have a little more added on to their daily routines. Their five year old daughter, Emery Twehues, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia last year on Easter.

After being diagnosed, she went through 9 months of intense chemotherapy and just finished in January. The family is experienced a lot of at-home treatments, meaning taking a lot of chemo pills and even injections.

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Her mother, Morgan, said Emery is now in the final phase called maintenance.

"It's less intense, that means she can go out in the world, she can go back to school, we can go to the library. Her hair's starting to regrow," Morgan said.

She is continuing to get chemotherapy through a port on her chest and in her spine. Morgan said the physicians at Nationwide Children's Hospital have helped them get through all of this.

Morgan studies cancer genetics for her job and was doing it for five years before her own daughter was diagnosed. She said she never expected she'd be researching for her own child.

She said she tries to stay far away from studying blood cancers, leukemia, anything like that, because it is too difficult for her emotionally.

Morgan and her husband Andrew said the researchers, the child life specialists and the physicians have been a strong support system. Especially the doctor that broke the news to them, she said. Andrew said they could tell he truly cared and was saddened by this as much as they were.

They want to continue supporting the hospitals and medical teams, which is why they are participating in Pelotonia. They, along with their friends and family, are in a group called Everyone for Emery.

"it takes a different meaning after you have someone you're directly involved with from a cancer standpoint," Andrew said.