Emilia Dameshek · May 17, 2016 at 6:33 pm
Day 74

We haven’t posted an update since Mother’s day because nothing has changed over the past 10 days.Emilia continues to fight gvhd and after trying multiple drugs, treatments and therapies she has not gotten better and her body is beginning to shut down.She hasn’t responded to treatment the way the doctors had hoped and now we shift our focus on making sure she stays as comfortable as possible as we approach her final days or weeks of life.There are no words to describe the heartache and despair we feel as we sit beside her during this time but we know that the doctors have done all they can for her as she has fought over and over and over.We have no regrets and she has had the best care possible by a group of people who truly love her and our family.Our team has tried everything they could and after fighting cancer three times in less than three years, it has become too much for her young body. They have advised us on what to say to Emilia and Max and how to make this transition as smooth as possible.Today we had some really tough conversations with them both and they understand what is happening.Child Life specialists and palliative care along with our oncology team at the hospital will be at our side to help us all. We are not sure how much time remains with her but when the time comes we will need to be very sensitive to Max and all the kids who love her so much.Our school district will make counselors available to kids who need to talk or cry and we will make sure any updates happen after school when her friends are home with their parents. We will not be accepting visitors at the hospital at this time and hope all her friends can recall the last time they saw her and remember her as she was, happy and healthier. You are welcome to share your favorite memory of Emilia in the comments below.Feel free to text us pictures you have of her and though we may not respond, please know that we do read every email, text and comment and will never be able to express our gratitude to every single person who has reached out to us over the years. We are so loved and supported and you have all helped us along the way.Xoxo Mitchell and Natalie

  Emilia Dameshek
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Carole Coulson · June 2, 2016

Chantal and I have prayed and hoped. Emilia was a truly amazing girl.

Carole Coulson's
Mary Lou simeone · May 20, 2016

I've never met Emilia, but I've followed her story since the beginning. So sad. RIP Emilia. I can't imagine.

Mary Lou  simeone 's
Evon Gephart · May 19, 2016

Natalie, There are no words that can express the heartache you and your family are going thru. Emilia have given all she can. She is an exceptional child. The love you all have for each other shows in all your pictures and messages. My heart aches for not only Emilia, but you, Mitchel and Max. All I can do is offer my prayers and support. May the Lord bless all of you in this terrible time. Love to you all. Evon

Evon  Gephart's
molly sweet · May 19, 2016

Natalie & family My thoughts are with you and wont leave your side. All of my kids have read you last entry and everyone feels so sad. My heart hurts for you all. My love is with you and im so very sorry. Love to you all, Molly & co xo

molly sweet's Photo
Marisa McKaye · May 18, 2016

I think of you everyday and pray for you constantly Emilia. You are a true "Warrior"! Love, Hugs and Prayers, Marisa

Marisa McKaye's
Stacy Nicoll · May 18, 2016

Natalie, I have followed Emilia's struggle these past years and I feel as if I know her... She so reminds me of you. She seems to light up a room. She is such a strong girl beautiful girl. I pray that your family has peace in this last journey with Emilia. She as well as your family will always be in my thoughts and prayers. I will choose to live every day to honor her memory. Your friend always Stacy Nicoll

Stacy Nicoll's
Roni Robinson · May 18, 2016

I have been following her journey as well and am heartbroken. No words can express. My heart is full of your family today. ❤️

Roni Robinson's
Amy Orlando · May 18, 2016

Mitchell, Natalie, Emilia and Max~ I echo all of the sentiments and feel all of the aching hearts...this was not the news we were praying to hear. You were our light during our time in PA...all of the play dates, trips to My Gym, Curiosity Connection and Paulus Farm Market were the good times we will treasure forever. Natalie, you are an amazing woman and mother, and I wish there was something, anything, we could do to change this result and ease everyone's pain. Love, Amy, Marina & Mitchell

Amy Orlando's
jane goldberg · May 18, 2016

I have been following Emilia's journey and am so sorry to hear of this turn of events. Sending prayers to you all.

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Stacy Morris · May 18, 2016

I remember the last time I saw Emilia she was standing proudly on top of one of the mountains, at Ski Roundtop, in the fall. She was nothing but smiles and laughter. I love that it is the last picture in my head of that sweet girl. Sending lots of love and prayers to your whole family.

Stacy Morris'
Roberta Neely · May 18, 2016

We have heavy hearts as I write this message. For the last three years your family had shown so much strength, bravery, love and courage that it has amazed us. Emilia has been blessed to have you as her parents and Max as her brother, and you have been blessed with your shining star Emilia. We love you. Uncle Scott and Aunt Roberta

Roberta Neely's
Anthea Kraut · May 18, 2016

I never even had the privilege of meeting her, but her courage and grace - and yours - have affected me more profoundly than I can say. She will live in my heart forever.

Anthea Kraut's
Jane Farrell · May 18, 2016

My heart is heavy with your news. Although Claire only got to really know Emelia in middle school, she is so very fond of her. My husband, Sean, enjoyed coaching her in basketball, back in 5th grade. Please know we are praying for all of you at this time. May God be with you. The Farrell Family

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Alan Rathbun · May 18, 2016

My heart is with you. I'm sorry this long journey has led to this. I will pray for her healing until she leaves this world and I will pray for God's grace and comfort for the rest of you.

Alan Rathbun's
monica rhodes · May 18, 2016

My heart aches for all of you. Holding you all close in our thoughts and prayers. Monica, Greg & Isabelle Rhodes

monica rhodes'
Carole Kennedy · May 18, 2016

As I read this, I know my words can not be adequate in expressing the sorrow I feel. Emilia, and your entire family, have been an inspiration to so many, and especially our family. I feel blessed to have been a small part of your lives. My mind goes back about 3 years ago to an especially fun day at our pool in Hummelstown with Mimi Jill, Max, Emilia, Marsden, and my three grandchildren (Celleste, Nik and Kara). Now that infectious laugh and smile and fun-loving spirit on that day, and throughout these 3 years, will live with us forever. Every bit of our hearts goes out to all of you during this most difficult time. Please let us know if there is anything at all we can do! We love you and send to you our heartfelt prayers. Carole, and the entire Kennedy Family

Carole Kennedy's
Erik Wohlfarth · May 18, 2016

I remember when we went to the Hummelstown pool with Emilia and my sisters and me it was a wonderful day at the pool and I will never forget that day with my family and friends love Nikolas and dad.

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Susan Cohen · May 18, 2016

We send you all our love and strength to the bravest family we know, our hearts and prayer are with you Susan and Walter cohen

Susan Cohen's
Aimee Haskew · May 18, 2016

Emilia, your warrior spirit and beaming smile have touched so many lives. You are beloved by your friends, family, community and your Penn State THON family. You and all who love you are in the thoughts and prayers of the entire Be The Match Family. Aimee Haskew Be The Match

Aimee Haskew's
Kim Cole · May 18, 2016

Emilia - You are the "big girl" who let Carina play with your toys in your parents' sunny living room. You are the "fun one" who indulged Carina's love of Polly Pockets at the dinner table at the India restaurant that your mother introduced me to so many years ago. Fast forward, you are the beautiful girl who climbed the stairs effortlessly at the Seeley's house on a crutch after your surgery, helping everyone around you to understand what true perseverence means. Carina said, "Emilia is so nice" which is the highest complement she gives people. I will echo what Rebecca Cortes says below: We pray for peace and comfort for your body, your heart and your family. We love you.

Kim Cole's
Amanda Smyser · May 18, 2016

My heart is with you all.

Amanda  Smyser's
Rebecca Cortes · May 18, 2016

Emilia, when we first moved to the area and started at Washington Heights, you were one of the first people to greet Jacob, and even talk to me, his mom! You were like this beacon of light and smiles that made us feel so welcomed. You have a genuine kind spirit in you, and I am so grateful to have met you. You've inspired so many-- just being you. We pray for peace and comfort for your body, your heart and your family.

Rebecca  Cortes'
Karen Raden · May 18, 2016

There are no words for the sadness we feel. Tony and I just keep thinking of you all and our hearts are breaking for you. Through seeing the beautiful pictures of Emilia that everyone has been posting, that is what I keep seeing in my mind. That beautiful smile, radiant love that is her soul. Sending so much love.

Karen Raden's
Meg Hakanen · May 18, 2016

My heart aches for all of you. I remember the story of Natalie's labor with Emilia, the excitement of waiting for her arrival in Chicago and the joy of getting to be her very first babysitter in the hotel while you were at a wedding. I so loved my time with her then and I will always remember that. And her courageous battle will never be forgotten. What a special daughter you have. You have so much love being sent your way from all over the country. Lots of love - Meg and Rocky

Meg Hakanen's
Scarlett Lastoskie · May 18, 2016

Dear Dameshek Family, My heart is breaking as I read your blog this morning! You have all been such an inspiration of love and courage for anyone who will ever face a tragedy in their lives. Praying for peace and comfort for Emilia. She has fought such a brave fight! Her beautiful spirit will be in our hearts forever! Lifting you in prayer and love as you go through this difficult time! The Lastoskie Family

Scarlett Lastoskie's
Peggy Cerquone · May 18, 2016

Mitch I have no words...just a heavy heart as I think about you , your family, and Emilia. Thank you both for sharing your experiences and thoughts with us...I admire your courage...and of course Emilia'scourage as well. It is clear to me that Emilia was placed in the very best of care when she was born into your family.... a place of unconditional love and undying devotion. There is no doubt there is a special place reserved for this beautiful child. I am profaoundly sad for you all. I will continue to pray for all of you. Much love, Peg Cerquone

Peggy Cerquone's
Stacey Palmer pierce · May 18, 2016

I have been following Emilia's updates from the beginning. I can't even begin to imagine what you and your family are going through. Although I have never met her, I can tell by all the posts and pictures that Emilia is one amazingly strong little girl who is so very loved by all! Prayers and hugs go out to you all during this difficult time. Stacey Palmer Pierce

Stacey Palmer pierce's
Lori Shelley · May 18, 2016

I feel so blessed to know this beautiful girl that has an even more beautiful soul!!! She will forever hold a very special place in my heart. Every time I think of her beautiful smile, automatically it makes me smile. I'll continue to pray for Emilia and her wonderful family

Lori Shelley's
Jennifer Daly · May 18, 2016

Sending you thoughts of love and support. I wish there were words to ease the pain. Natalie, Mitch, Max, and Emilia- you are such an amazing example to us all of what love, support, dedication, fight, and family is all about. Hold each other tight. xoxo

Jennifer Daly's
Pamela Chan · May 18, 2016

Please know you are all in our thoughts and prayers and we are sending every ounce of love we have to you all. She is such an amazing human and has had, and continues to have, such an important impact on all those around her. Pam Chan (Maggie's mom)

Pamela Chan's
Claudia Williams · May 18, 2016

Sending love. Lots and lots of love. -- Claudia

Claudia Williams'
Joan Krell · May 18, 2016

I read this last night before I went to bed and all night I could only think about Emilia and your entire family. Special is just not a good enough word to describe all of you. Emilia has a very special light and to think Natalie, Mitchell and Max in your time of sorrow you are still thinking of everyone else is so extraordinary. I really do not know what to say with such devastating news. Emilia is such a fighter and I never thought you would be where you are today. I wish you continuing strength and love forever.

Joan Krell's
Pam Ardell · May 18, 2016

I am trying to find the right words after reading this. I am so overcome with heartache for my friend, his family, and his beautiful daughter. I cannot tell you the days that I have read these updates and saw Emilia's radiant resilient smile and it has lifted me out of my own difficult times. Witnessing her strength even through these updates has been so inspiring. I will be holding everyone of you ever so tightly in my prayers during the time ahead.

Pam Ardell's
jamie anderson · May 17, 2016

I will never be able to find the right words to say to you guys. We are like family and you all hold a special place in my heart. My heart is broken for all of you. I still believe we were brought together for a reason..... The Anderson's will be here always! We love you! Jamie

jamie  anderson's
Stacey Toth · May 17, 2016

I'm so sorry things have reached this point for all of you. Sending you wishes for peace and comfort during the times ahead. -The Toth Family

Stacey Toth's
Cris Reever · May 17, 2016

I know i do not know you or your family but i just took about 2 hours to read your whole story..i can only imagine how it must be to live it...you and your family are so strong and emilia is such a fighter. Im so glad that you have had so much help and support from friends and family..i do not like needles but i promise you i will donate blood. Your story has touched my heart, and i really dont know what to say but...dont give up...dont lose hope..dont lose faith...the impossible can happen... miricles do happen. I wish you and your family the best durring this hard time, you all are such an inspiration of bravery and strength. Sending love and good vibes your way.

Cris Reever's
Margaret Metz & Dan O\'Rielly · May 17, 2016

Dearest ones, we send you so much love and strength. It has been a gift to see Emilia's radiant smile in your pictures and to witness the fierce love and strength in your family. Our hearts ache tremendously at this news, but we will focus on the love and light she gifts everyone. You all are loved.

Margaret Metz & Dan O\'Rielly's
Susie Pratt · May 17, 2016

What a gift to have known this special kid, and to have spent time with her last summer. We are all better for it. Love you so. xo Pratts

Susie Pratt's
Amy Mayer · May 17, 2016

I have been sitting here trying to think of what to say to you and your family Natalie. My heart hurts for all of you. I always look forward to your updates, hearing about your family and your amazing daughter who has obviously touched so many people. Love to you all.

Amy Mayer's
Dawn Miller · May 17, 2016

Emilia, Not only are you the biggest ray of sunshine ever... You are an inspiring, smart, beautiful girl. You taught me so much more than I could ever teach you... Although you did get darn good at solving multi-step equations!

Dawn Miller's
Lynne Shine · May 17, 2016

Emilia's resilience has been incredible. Her three times a charm mentality will stick with me forever. You helped her be brave and strong. You helped us all be strong. I will never ever forget your genuine concern Natalie, for Emilia's friends and what they may be going through, if and when this time came. I couldn't get over it. It was so selfless. I couldn't imagine getting out of my own way if I were in your position. You, Mitchell, Max and Emilia are special, as you have let us all in. We all feel it with you. We love you. Our hearts break with you. Xoxo

Lynne Shine's
Alison Goodwin · May 17, 2016

It was great seeing Emilia, her beautiful smile and amazing spirit (which she clearly gets from her parents)at the CC baseball game last summer. You both are so incredibly gracious to be concerned about how others are feeling during this most difficult time for your family. I cannot imagine your heartache and hope you can all take comfort in knowing that there will be true peace. You're all blessed to have one another. We think of you often.

Alison Goodwin's
Debbi Francl · May 17, 2016

My sweet girlie two shoes. From the day I knew she was on the way, I've loved her. I was so lucky to come meet her in the hospital when she was born. Holding her on my shoulder and let her sleep as a baby brought me so much joy in your Chicago years. We all know how I cried as you took her out of my arms when you left to move back to PA. My kids all adore her - she brings out the best in all of them. We even loved when her stinky feet filled own home when you came to visit :) What we wouldn't give to have those stinky feet back here with us again. We love you Mitchy, NatNat, Max and oh my sweet girlie two shoes. All our love.

Debbi Francl's
DyAnn Sturgis · May 17, 2016

Dear Natalie, Mitch, Max and Emilia, You are the most fantastic family I have ever met. I am always in awe of the beautiful way you show others what love and caring is about. I have been truly blessed to have met you all. Hugs and prayers, Your crazy neighbor, DyAnn

DyAnn Sturgis'
Kathy Hernjak · May 17, 2016

Finding it difficult to find words. Our hearts are heavy. We are praying you all feel the enormous circle of love, and strength surrounding you. It is evident in every message here. Wishing Emilia peace and sending our love to all of you. Dave and Kathy, Carlie, Bren and Paddy

Kathy Hernjak's
Lisa Schmidt · May 17, 2016

No words are right. This isn't right. I'm praying for you and Emilia's comfort. God bless. Lisa and Amelia Schmidt

Lisa Schmidt's
Wendy Nathan · May 17, 2016

I am so very sorry and at such a loss for words that probably wouldn't ease the deep sorrow you may be feeling. My heart is with all that have been touched by Emilia. What an amazing community you have around you to help you always remember your Emilia's beautiful smile and seemingly wonderful strength she possessed. My warmest thoughts will be with you in the coming days and weeks.

Wendy Nathan's
Terri Buckwalter · May 17, 2016

We love you guys! Your family is always full of smiles and so sweet, strong, and positive! We are praying hard and thinking of you all so much especially now during this time. Emilia is such a beautiful girl and obviously known for her awesome smile. I think it is wonderful that you have so many friends, families around you. We are here, there, everywhere if and when you need us. We love you, The Buckys

Terri  Buckwalter 's
Dana Canaguier · May 17, 2016

I am so very very sorry. We have been praying every night for the last 2 years. I have requested prayers for you all. My heart aches for you all. God bless her. Xo my family is sending our love and prayers.

Dana Canaguier's
Rill Ferrre · May 17, 2016

Even though I do not know you I feel as if I do. My heart breaks for you all and Emilia is a very strong girl. My prayers are with you all during this very difficult time. Rill Ferree

Rill Ferrre's
Amy Hamilton · May 17, 2016

When someone asked me recently if I had met Emilia I hesitated before saying no. I feel as if I know her. Well. Her radiant smile is permanently seered in my mind. Her courage - and yours - will be an inspiration to me always. I wish desperately that I could do something, anything, to even slightly ease your suffering. I know I can't. My heart aches deeply. I can only promise you that I will never take for granted how miraculously touched I have been my a strong and beautiful little girl I have never even met.

Amy Hamilton's
Rosette Roth · May 17, 2016

Thinking of you and the entire family. Hoping for comfort for her and special time together as a family in the upcoming time together.

Rosette Roth's
Garrick weaver · May 17, 2016

Mitch, Natalie, Max and sweet Emilia; Words cannot begin to express our true feelings during this difficult time. You all have been an inspiration and models of family, love, courage, community and so much more. May we all aspire to touch half the number of people that each of you have. Please take some comfort in knowing your willingness to share your journey so openly has helped our family learn more about what true love is all about. Thinking of you all, Garrick, Deb, Lauren and Alexis Weaver PS Mitch- HFF then, now and ALWAYS!

Garrick weaver's
Margie Rosenberg · May 17, 2016

You are beautiful people who have fought the fight of your lives. Emilia, here comes my deep hug for you and know that you are an amazing young girl whose smile, laughter, love, and face brightened all of our days as we lived your journey. I love you deeply! To Mitchell, Natalie, and Max, I am profoundly moved by your love, fortitude, commitment, honesty, and smiles through Emilia's trials and tribulations. Thank you for including us in your journey. I am saying my prayers for you today and always! Lots of love! Margie (plus David, Melanie, Jaimie, and Andrew)

Margie Rosenberg's
Heather Scott · May 17, 2016

My heart breaks and I'm so sorry that they can't help her anymore. Emilia, you are the bravest, strongest little girl I've ever known! Your smile is so contagious and the sweet demeanor you've shared with the world through the toughest years of your life outshine your battle with cancer. You are such an inspiration. You have such an easy caring disposition and grace that many adults never obtain. You're my hero! I'm in tears thinking about the loss we are all about to face, I can't even imagine how you all are coping right now but you all are in my thoughts and prayers.

Heather Scott's
Chris Van Den Berg · May 17, 2016

You were the first ones to have a child amongst the Chicago crew. Everyone was so fascinated to have a baby in and among us. Whenever I had the chance to hold Emilia in my arms I was introduced to that unique deep kind of love that occurs when a child looks up at you and smiles. I am going to vigorously hold on to this memory. Parenting came so naturally to you both and I was in awe of your ability to make a baby burrito when you wrapped her up so tightly in a blanket. I am still in awe of you both. Elizabeth and I send our love and strength to the two of you, Emilia, and Max.

Chris Van Den Berg's
Kathy Watts · May 17, 2016

Sweet Emilia, We continue to pray for you and your family! Your strength and courage inspires each and everyone who knows you! Keep wearing your smile and your Ohio State socks! We love you! Kathy, Brinley, and Bryce Watts

Kathy Watts'
Kristi Niebel · May 17, 2016

I think of Emilia often and that beautiful smile of hers!!!! The strength and positivity that Emilia and you have shown never fails to amaze me...I will continue to pray for comfort and peace.

Kristi Niebel's
Sherry Anderson · May 17, 2016

God be with all of you. Please give Emilia a kiss and big hug from us. Love Sherry Kacy Evan

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Luanne Shearer · May 17, 2016

Love to my sweet Emilia and her lovely family. I will continue to pray for you all.

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Laurie Dameshek · May 17, 2016

Natalie, Mitchell, Emilia, Max, Jill, Sue, and the rest of the family, there is little any of us can say that can truly ease the pain you feel. Please know that you are all dearly loved, and so many people wish they could erase the horrible disease and all it has done to you and your family. Emilia, you have shown us all what it takes to be strong, to smile through such pain and adversity, and to have hope. Natalie and Mitchell, we have seen what wonderful parents you have been to Max and Emilia both, and continued to be friends to so many and most of all, each other. Max, this must be very hard for you, to watch your sister go through this, to miss time with your parents and to miss out on just having a normal childhood. Jill and Sue, I know you have stepped in to help when you, too, feel the pain of a sick grandchild. Please know that the love you have all shared with us has been felt and is returned. Don't be afraid to ask for whatever help you need in the days, weeks, months and years to come. Sending much love and prayers for peace of mind and body. Laurie, Phil, Alex and Jon-Michael

Laurie Dameshek's
Heather depuy · May 17, 2016

This is such heart breaking news !! My thoughts and prayers are with all of you !!! Emilia I wish I had half the courage and strength you have shown me in the past few years !! Heather

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Kara Wambach McClain · May 17, 2016

Keeping all of you in my thoughts. May you find peace, comfort and understanding during these most challenging times. Kara & Kelly McClain

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Tony Mroczek · May 17, 2016

You are all in our thoughts and prayers and we send nothing but love.

Tony Mroczek's
Peg Strohecker · May 17, 2016

So sorry to hear this. You all are amazing people and will be keeping you in my prayers during this difficult time.

Peg Strohecker's
Jen Marczyk · May 17, 2016

Much love to you all. Emilia I wish I had half your charm, wisdom, and grace. Please let me know if there is anything you need me to do. Love~ Jen

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Lara Kirts · May 17, 2016

You all are loved, Natalie, Mitch, Emilia and Max, and your resilience and bravery is an inspiration. Sending lots of love to you all.

Lara Kirts'
Erika Gallagher · May 17, 2016

My heart is breaking for you and your amazing Emilia...even though I was only her substitute teacher, I got to know her beautiful spirit and looked forward to seeing that smile come into the classroom. She is always in my thoughts and prayers and please tell her that Mrs. Gallagher will always think of her as I sing along to Taylor Swift in the car on long trips :) Love to you all, Erika Gallagher

Erika Gallagher's
Ellen Bialecki · May 17, 2016

I am heartbroken for all of you. Sending all of our love!

Ellen Bialecki's
Jen Yingling · May 17, 2016

We are all thinking of you and sending prayers of strength to you all!

Jen Yingling's
Megan Jones · May 17, 2016

No words could possible be said. I am so sorry. I love her, I am completely devastated. This was not the outcome that I prayed for. Please let me know if there is anything you need. I am so sorry.

Megan Jones'
Kim McLain · May 17, 2016

My heart breaks for all of you.

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