LONGWOOD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A brave little girl from Longwood can call herself a published author. Emma Marques helped write and illustrate a book about battling illness to help kids like her. “Emma the Brave” is the story of a little girl who finds the courage to fight cancer and have fun, too. “When we told her in May that we were going to go back to New York City after spending so much time there, she was really excited. Most kids would not be excited to go to the hospital,” said Emma’s mom, Donna Marques.
The book is full of Emma’s drawings of adventures—and hospital visits—in New York City, where she underwent treatment for a rare cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma, or DIPG. It’s also where she met Michael Flatley, the founder of Books that Heal, an organization that helps children suffering from chronic illnesses publish their own stories. “She drew pictures and told him all the exciting things she liked about New York City as well as what she had to actually face when battling treatment to keep her with us as long as possible,” Marques said.
Flatley helped turn Emma’s favorite New York pass times into a story. Doctors discovered Emma’s tumor 18 months ago. Unlike other childhood cancers, little progress has been made to improve treatment for DIPG. Sales of “Emma the Brave” will help raise money to research the disease.
Marques hopes that kids who read it will be inspired to be like “Emma the Brave.” “Emma the Brave” is available on Amazon. There will be a book signing Saturday, September 26 at 11 a.m. at the Barnes and Noble at 2418 East Colonial Drive in Orlando.