Where Emma goes, joy follows. She loves to make people laugh and saves her best jokes for her closest friends.


Emma looks forward to spending summers at the beach, but some days lack the sunshine she craves and brings to others. Just before she started eighth grade, the Children’s National team diagnosed her with Crohn’s disease, a chronic condition that causes inflammation in the digestive tract.


Her older sister, Abby, received the same diagnosis 18 months earlier. 


“Emma and her sister are alike in many ways, but both of them have different symptoms and experiences,” says their dad, Chris. “Abby’s high confidence definitely helps Emma become a little braver with each medical visit.”


Emma receives monthly infusions at the Montgomery County outpatient center. One of her nurses, Yvonne, helps her feel less anxious around needles and relax during treatments. 


“My care team treats me like a person, not a patient,” she says. “I can still be me.”


Now Emma says she tolerates – and even enjoys – treatments. Her renewed energy gets her back to spending time with friends, singing along to Taylor Swift and playing soccer. 


“It is remarkable how quickly and fully Emma and Abby have rebounded,” says Chris. “We know we have a journey ahead, but we are grateful for the great care and the promise of their progress so far.”

A young patient at Children's National Hospital.

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A young patient at Children's National Hospital.