Tricounty News

Emily Sieben returns home, and to school

By Jean Doran Matua, Editor

Twelve-year-old Emily Sieben has completed her six weeks of radiation and chemotherapy at the Children’s Hospital in Chicago: 28 treatments in all. She had a “graduation” ceremony at the end of her treatment, complete with balloon and a diploma.

Emily returned home nearly two weeks ago, and was back at school the next day according to her father Casey.

Chicago is one of only 10 centers in the United States that has the radiation treatment Emily needed. (Even the Mayo Clinic here in Minnesota won’t get it until 2014.) Only eight hours away, Chicago was the closest of those 10 centers.

Teachers and staff at EV-W raised enough money to buy Emily an iPad to take with her to Chicago. She was able to use it to keep up on her schoolwork. Perhaps more importantly, though, she met with her school friends at lunch, on the iPad.

Emily’s dad explained that there was plenty for her to do during her chemo treatments. The treatment part was only three minutes of her one-hour appointments. But they had so many activities and projects for her, it was more like playtime.

Emily was glad to be back home, though. She missed her brothers and sister most; they’re ages 2, 4 and 9.

A silent auction and dinner is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at St. Anthony Church basement and Village Hall. Emily was diagnosed with a brain tumor in May 2009.