When Emma Mertens, age 7, was diagnosed with an inoperable form of brain cancer called DIPG, her grieving parents came up with a unique idea to lift their daughter’s spirits. They reached out to friends and family with a very special request. Emma wanted letters and pictures—from their dogs.
Those friends and family reached out to their friends and family, and the initial idea snowballed into a social media movement. It soon overwhelmed the email account and post office box the family had set up for receiving the letters. In fact, within days, over 100,000 letters from dogs had arrived for Emma!
UPDATE: Emma gets surprise visit from over 30 K9 Teams
Emma recently received a surprise visit from a big group of police dogs and their handlers, who wanted to share the love with this big-hearted girl.
Dreams coming true right here!
Emma got a stuffy from each dog, which she loves to play with.
Each team presented her with a custom stuffy
“The response is amazing. Emma is changing the world! The messages from people are so heartwarming! Being kind is simple. It’s all Emma has really ever wanted is for everyone to be kind.”
Emma loves reading the messages from dogs. Her favorites are the funniest ones. The stories and pictures help keep her mind off the discomfort and stress of radiation therapy and multiple surgeries to relieve the pressure in her skull.
Emma has received cards, letters, and emails from around the globe, along with books, stuffies, and many well-meaning offers of puppies. The family is just too busy right now for a dog of their own, but Emma gets constant visits from dogs in the area, and they borrow the neighbor’s dogs for Emma to enjoy.
Due to the logistics of handling that amazing-yet-overwhelming amount of mail, the family is now asking for folks to share their dogs’ letters via the Team Emma Facebook page.
We hope you’ll send a happy little message from your dog to Emma, too.