Emma Paulson of Mequon, Wisconsin, is the fifth winner of our firm’s Strong Arm Leukemia Scholarship. Emma, 22, is a student St. Mary’s College in South Bend, Indiana.
Paulson is a survivor of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. She was diagnosed in 2012 and soon her world was turned upside down. The healthiest member of her family became the one in the hospital where her family and friends stayed by her side day and night.
The girl who was afraid of needles and medical procedures realized that medicine was her calling. “When I went with my friend to get her ears pierced, I was the one who fainted,’’ she said.
Interview with Emma Paulson
Emma wrote in her award-winning essay: “My dream is to be a nurse in the bone marrow transplant clinic at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Someday I hope to make a difference at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the hospital that helped me. “
Today Emma is recovering at home and taking a few classes nearby, but in the fall she will return as a junior to St. Mary’s and will continue her studies to become a nurse.
We were struck by essay that chronicled not just her struggle with disease, but her hopefulness and passion to help other who faced the same issues. Cancer changed the course of her life. She had always been the healthiest person in her family and ran track and cross-country and suddenly she was quite ill.
Emma said she stuck by how much support she received from family and friends during her treatment. “I don’t think I was alone for more than 30 minutes at time.” And then, it was only because her mom and dad, Steve, were trading off shifts. She noticed that other patients weren’t as lucky. Often, their parents had to work to help pay for treatments and insurance.
The patient quickly became the comforter. Emma quickly decided to do something to help her fellows cancer fighters. Just 10 months into treatment, she and her mother, Kim Paulson, brainstormed as to how to help. The result is Emma Rose — A Patient Helping Patients, a Facebook page with two goals: to collect small comfort items, such as warm socks, lip balms and coloring books, to distribute to pediatric patients, and to raise awareness that more money is needed to fund childhood cancer research. The page also offers inspiration and hope. Today, the site has 12,000 followers and she is able to deliver 50 gift bags to patients each month.
In 2016 Emma was enjoying what she called “a normal life,” attending St. Mary’s College and living in a dorm when she was diagnosed with a relapse. The big sister soon became the one in need, again. Her two younger siblings quickly were tested as bone marrow donors. Her sister Annabelle was not a match but her brother, Steven, was a perfect 10/10. Emma was fortunate to receive a bone marrow transplant from which she is still recovering.
You can read Emma’s full essay by clicking here.
John Foy & Associates awards $1,000 with each “Strong Arm Leukemia” scholarship. Paulson is the fifth recipient.
Anyone who has been affected by leukemia, as a patient or loved one of a patient, is eligible as long as they are enrolled in an accredited college or university as an incoming freshman, undergraduate or graduate student. To apply for the next scholarship, go to this page on our website. Deadline is July 15, 2018.
As one of Atlanta’s largest personal injury firms, John Foy & Associates is an active supporter of the greater Atlanta community. John Foy, firm founder, began this scholarship in order to support the larger community of cancer survivors.
For more information on our firm, give us a call at 404-400-4000.