There's a little 7-year-old girl in Wisconsin who is dealing with a rare and inoperable brain tumor. To help deal with the pain of her disease, Emma Mertens is asking people to send her letters and photos from their dogs.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family cover medical expenses and in the comments, people from all over the country and in many parts of the world have shared notes and photos from their four-legged friends. They have sent hugs, kisses and tail wags. They've written about their favorite hobbies, movies and treats. Most of all, they've told Emma she is in their thoughts and she is loved.
Emma has diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, an aggressive, hard-to-treat tumor found at the base of the brain. So far, she's had two surgeries and radiation therapy.
According to her GoFundMe page:
Last weekend she was having a normal weekend playing with friends, playing in the snow, and wrestling with her brothers. On Sunday though, she got a headache and started having flu like symptoms. By Wednesday, she was rushed into surgery to reduce swelling on the brain. She has had a second surgery now and is preparing for 6 weeks of daily radiation therapy. She is a fighter and she and her family along with everyone on Team Emma are here to fight for her.
While she fights, dogs everywhere are showing their support.
Burley and Babette in Ottawa, Ontario. (Photo: Tania Calverley)
Tania Calverley sent a photo of her two snow-covered pups with the note: "Burley and Babette send lots of love and doggie kisses from cold Ottawa, Ontario Canada."
Megan Janofski wrote from Michigan. "Hi Emma! Our names are Daisy and Tymber and we live in Michigan. We love cuddling and playing fetch. Our owner told us you aren’t feeling good. We are sending all our love to you! We think you’re pretty incredible for going through this. Stay strong and brave. Love, Daisy and Tymber."
Maria Emilia sent greeting from her two dogs in Virginia Beach. "Hi sweet and beautiful Emma! My two Aussie pup pups want to send you tons of hugs and kisses - little Shelby and big brother Nikki boy say that you are AWESOME!"
Ursula Bedeaux's dog Lola sent the message: "Hi Emma, our mom told us about you and how brave you are. She also told us that you love dogs, so Harriett, Maggie, and I (Lola), thought we would send you some hugs and kisses from Minnesota!!! ❤️❤️❤️"
She included photos of Harriett and Maggie, too.
If you (or your dog) want to send a message to Emma, you can post them to a special Facebook page.
Editor's note: This article has been updated since it was originally published in February 2019.