On yesterday My Niece Emily would have been 9 years old, but on last year she went home to be with the Lord at age Eight, after a very courageous Fight of Faith to stay here. You see Emily (Emi) was diagonosed back in January of  2010 with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) with a tumor located in the pons (middle) of her brain stem. The Doctors gave her Six months to a year to live now before the diagnosis and even after the diagnosis Emily was active in her Willing Workers Church Family, She sung in the youth choir attended Bible Study and church regulary, attended Lakeshore Elementary, was a giver at home and in the community, she was a Make-Up Artist and Co-Aruthor of her on book . Her smile would captivate and light up a room and her huggs and love for God and for others was non-stop. She mirrowed great faith in such a small wonder, her faith far exceeded her years.

Emily and her family loves us here at Praise 92.1 and One of Emily’s Favorite Groups was “Forever Jones” The Family Band and her favorite requested song was “He Wants It All” Wow out of the mouth of babes. Then last July she was scheduled to meet them at a Marcus D. Wiley’s Praise and Punchlines Event. However she was not able to because she became ill and was taken to the hospital a couple of hours before the event started.  

The group was looking forward to meeting Lil Emily and was saddened when they heard that she took ill, so they offered their prayers for her and her family. Then they autographed a copy of their CD for her so a couple of days later I took the CD to her while she was in the hospital.

Now mind you she did not  know that I was coming over but mom Oletha Perkins did and here is (Emi’s) response to receiving her CD from Forever Jones in this video.

Emily’s love for God and for His music allowed us as older adults and even older children to visually see an example of a true faith walker. Her faith and the faith of her family made us all examine our on faith. My faith grew and is still growing from the experience I had with Emily and continue to have with the family (Team Emily).

Emily always encouraged others by saying “It Aint Over Until God Say’s It’s Over” She believed God all the way to the ending of her life here on earth and in to the begining of her New life with Him in Heaven.

Here’s Maurette Brown Clark’s Video (It Aint Over Until God Say’s It’s Over). From Team Emily to you “No Matter What You are Going Through”.

Then one day I received a text from Mother Oletha saying that the doctors had moved (Emi) to Hospice and didn’t know how long she had left. So after my shift on air one Sunday afternoon I went by to see her and the family. They were all around her bed and we all gathered together and began praying and comforting (Emi) and each other.

Then Mom turned on the radio and as always it was set to Praise 92.1 in the Hospice room. CoCo Brother was on and he was talking to Pastor Shirley Caesar and she was telling the story about Two Twin sisters and one died very early in her life. Then the other sister that was left asked her daddy if Heaven had a Playground?

Here is the video of the song Playground in Heaven: By Shirley Caesar.

Family continue to comfort Yea one another in the faith each and every day.

Now you all know what is happening right about now and (father, mother and daughters Maddy, Alex and Bry and family members are all around  Emi’s bed). Then as the song went off Bry Emi’s next to the oldest sister, with her head on moms lap looks up at her with tears in her eyes and ask her if Heaven Has a Playground? Then mom with a smile on her face say’s yes.

The families strength throughout this whole ordeal was amazinging you could tell exactly why Emi’s faith was like it was, because she was raised in a family of of strong believers. Yes parents what you do around and with your children does matter. Please know that  they are learning from your example of how to handle the things that come up in their lives, by the way they see you handling the things that come up in yours.

Emi went home to be with the Lord a year ago on August 30th but please know she left a mark that can and will never be erased in the hearts ad minds of many. She left a tangible resource for other children, parents, family members and care givers of children who have (DIPG) or might be diagnosed with it can us. Remember I said she was an Author and she inspired Poppy Lampkin to write the book and activity pamplets for “Our Friends Joey & Emily, “Emily To The Rescue”. The books are great for children in schools where other children with this illness or any other illness can learn how to be more sensitive to and respctful of their classmates even when they don’t fully understand what they are going through.

Please know that Diffuse pontine gliomas account for about 5-10 out of every 100 brain tumors in children. What are the medical symptoms of a diffuse pontine glioma?  Some symptoms are muscle weakness on one side of the body, swallowing problems, speech problems, crossed eyes, drowsiness, hearing loss, and personality changes. The brainstem has cranial nerves that control many of these functions.

So parents if you see any of these signs or symptons please take your child or children to their Pediatric doctor just as Oletha Perkins and her family did once they noticed some of these changes in (Emi).

Team Emily is on a crusade to help as many children and families as possible to become more aware of DIPG and of the resources that are available for them. The Book ‘Our Friend Joey & Emily’ ” Emily To The Rescue” is available on the shelves of The PI Beta  patients Library at Texas Children’s Hospital in all of there Ninety Library Nooks thrughout the hospital, and at The Ronald McDonald House and MD Anderson Cancer Center. The book is also available in several countries and languages.

Family please know that last September at our Annual Family Fun Day in the park, thanks to our Program Director Team Emily met  “Forever Jones” and they all hugged and cried together. Then Dad Brother Dwitt Jones prayed for Team Emily and they dedicated “He Wants It All ” to them while they were on stage. Wow just look at God.

Please continue to pray for Team Emily as they continue to minister to others through what they have experienced. This year they have established The Team Emily Foundation so keep your eye’s and ears open for more great news coming from Team Eamily and on how you can get involved.

Thanks to Team Emily, Forever Jones, and to you our Praise family for allowing me to share with you this precious story. To every family that may be going through a life challenging battle with your child or children, your family members, friends or even yourself pleae know that you are and will forever be in our prayers.  We Love You from your family here at Praise 92.1

Emi’s Stamp