In early November of 2007, Emma Alyse was like every other happy and healthy 3-year-old preschooler! However, the weeks that followed changed the course of her formative years, which brings us here. Emma had enjoyed trick or treating for Halloween with her two sisters, Carlee and Megan, the week prior. Shortly after, she developed cold symptoms which were treated with over the counter (OTC) medications and home remedies including some chicken noodle soup! The following week, Emma developed a large hematoma on the inside of her knee which prompted an evaluation from her pediatrician. After further evaluation and lab work, we were told that our Emma Alyse needed to be emergently admitted to Payton Manning Children's Hospital in Indianapolis after her lab work revealed a platelet count of 2,000.

ITP Warrior Emma2With feelings of fear and uncertainty, our family was sent on a trajectory to the unknown. Having a young child hospitalized with such a rare autoimmune disorder is frightening. Countless hospitalizations, doctor's appointments, lab draws, IVIg infusions, oral medications, intense side effects, physical restrictions/limitations, bruising, bleeding gums and spontaneous nosebleeds became Emma's new normal. Every new milestone has presented new challenges. We stand in awe of her ability to adapt and adjust to her circumstances. Emma handles herself with the grace and strength few possess. She never lost her smile and zest for life!

Which brings us to the present day. Emma is a thriving 19-year-old freshman at Vincennes University studying Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Forestry and Conservation. Her love of animals and the environment will show through her future work in this area of study. Her goal is to work for the Department of Natural Resources and plans to visit Yellowstone National Park in the near future.

PDSA has been a huge part of this entire journey for our family. The connections made and education provided through this organization are unmatched. From in-person events, like the 5K walk/run we are hosting, to webinars, educational packets, up-to-date research, annual conferences to ITP patient/family testimonials, the awareness that PDSA brings to the ITP world is priceless.

Please help us in supporting this amazing organization continue its efforts to make this "invisible" disorder seen!