Amazing Kids, Amazing Stories: Emma's Story
Like many 7-year-old children, Emma Broeniman of Appleton, Wisconsin, loves art projects and Hershey bars. But unlike many of her peers, Emma has already undergone 13 surgeries and is on her second chemotherapy treatment.
Emma's complications stem from Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF-1), a genetic disorder that affects the body's ability to control cell pision. NF-1 is caused by the mutation of a gene on chromosome 17. Although this mutation can be silent and leads to minimal issues in most patients, some inpiduals experience life-threatening tumor growth, especially along nerves. It can also affect the growth of skin and nervous tissue and cause other complications, such as café-au-lait spots, blindness, brain tumors and amputation due to pseudarthrosis of the tibia.
"Emma and her family have faced her disease with incredible resilience," says American Family Children's Hospital's Kenneth Noonan, MD. "She is a strong little girl."
Emma is currently undergoing chemotherapy for a brain tumor and is continuing to be treated for her pseudarthrosis of the tibia. Despite the complications, Emma is thriving.
"American Family Children’s Hospital is the best place we can be," Amie says. "We owe the staff there everything."