Daughter’s Memory Honored Through Ultimate Hike

Mother hikes so that one day, every child is guaranteed a cure

Emily McKelvey

When Amy’s daughter, Emily, was 17 she fulfilled a life-long dream of being camp counselor at Camp Lirecrest, her childhood camp. She loved getting to know the campers and helping them fall in love with the camp like she had when she was young. For one week during the summer, the camp was open only to children with cancer. Emily decided to stay and volunteer during that week, and was incredibly moved by how positive the kids were, despite their situations.

When Emily went home, she developed a sore throat. Her mom took her to the doctor, and when a mono and strep throat test came back negative, her doctor told her to rest and that she would start feeling better soon. She still wasn’t feeling better a week later, so her mother took her back to the doctor where a blood test was performed. The results shocked the family. Emily had leukemia.

Emily started treatment the same day, and only left the hospital for 7 days during the five months of her treatment. Her doctors believed that a bone marrow transplant was the best treatment option for Emily and began preparing her for the procedure. Luckily, a perfect match was found, and Emily underwent a bone marrow transplant on November 6, 2008. Although the transplant was successful, the chemotherapy that Emily received damaged her liver and she went into renal failure. After five months of fighting, Emily lost her battle.

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