BATAVIA, Ohio (FOX19) - Jamie and Holly Gooch of Batavia said they were crushed when they learned their daughter Emma has AML or Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Holly says Emma’s symptoms started in early 2020.
“Bellyaches, and then in February, toward the end of February, she got a really bad sore throat," Holly said.
The family of five found out about Emma’s cancer in March.
“I probably would’ve said it was a little rough," Emma said.
Since then, the 8-year-old has been hospitalized multiple times for chemotherapy treatments.
Emma’s parents said that doctors decided she needed a bone marrow transplant too.
“The next step was we got our family tested, which none of us were matches," Holly said. "Be the Match was the organization that started looking for our donor, and we found one.”
Through it all, Emma’s relatives say she has radiated positive energy.
Even in the worst of times, she does not let cancer get her down.
“We also learned a lot more about her through all of this - how well she can handle it, and her compassion really showed through too because she wanted to write her donor a letter and thank them," Jamie said.
In hopes of helping, an organization called “Rally Against Childhood Cancer” stepped in.
The charity put together a “Rally for Emma” on Sunday to raise money that will help the Gooch family with the cost of Emma’s care.
Motorcycle riders traveled to places all over the Tri-State, supporting Emma along the way.
“I just want to thank all those bike riders for chipping in and helping my family," Emma said.
The love and kindness coming from the community help Jamie and Holly stay strong, but they also find strength in Emma who carries herself with undeniable courage each and every day.
“If you have cancer, don’t be scared because there’s a lot of people who can help you, and we can get through this," Emma said. “Just stay strong and probably just try to get through it.”
In the future, Jamie and Holly said they hope to pay it forward by helping with events that are held to help other local families.
Anyone who would like to follow Emma’s journey can go to the Rally Against Childhood Cancer Facebook page.