Emily’s Wish to Save The World
There’s more in common with 7-year-old Emily and the Hulk than you would think.
Brave, Strong and Feisty
They may appear different on the outside, but there are a few key similarities between the Hulk and 7-year-old Emily. Firstly, they’re both brave, secondly, they’re both strong and thirdly, they’re both feisty.
Emily’s mum Andrea also believes that Emily loves the Hulk because he’s different from the other superheroes.
“He's not your traditional superhero. Emily's never really gone for the popular one. She's always gone for the one that’s been that little bit different. I think she sees herself in him. She has a fiery temper and she's well aware of that, so that might be another thing because the Hulk gets angry too!”
It all began the day that the superheroes came to wash the windows at the children’s hospital where Emily was undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Superheroes became the hot topic of conversation, with the Hulk being front and centre.
“I told her that I was really scared of The Incredible Hulk when I was a little girl, and she thought this was hilarious. Her big brave mum was scared of The Incredible Hulk! And she said to me, ‘it's okay, mum. I can protect you from the incredible because I'm brave, and I'm strong.’Andrea, Emily's Mum
A Wish to Be Like The Hulk And Save The World
When it came time to choose a wish – Emily at first asked for a younger sister. Both Make-A-Wish and Andrea said they couldn’t help her with that one. Andrea encouraged Emily to think of her greatest wish – not necessarily something tangible, but something in her heart she wanted.
“Then she said, ‘I would really love to meet The Incredible Hulk!’ and that's kind of where it started. Then it went from meeting The Incredible Hulk to being his sidekick, and then just being like him and saving the world!”
I think the idea of saving the world is Emily trying to regain some of her control and her strength. And also because we always said to her ‘you're so brave. You have handled all this so bravely.’ So she’s thought ‘I’m brave, that could be a superhero thing!’
Countdown to Save The World
Little does Emily know; she is only a few weeks away from her superhero adventure!
With her HULK training underway, Emily is up to ‘L’ where she’s learning something new in preparation for saving the world.
“This weekend she wants to learn how to make ANZAC biscuits, because they seem like something like Hulk would eat.”
“In the letters that The Hulk has been sending, the first one said, ‘I’m sorry I’m going to have to go because Thor has lost his hammer again!” and she just thinks this is hilarious.
“She’s like ‘Oh Thor’s a bit forgetful isn't he!’”
Emily’s even been getting books out of the library to learn about The Hulk.
“She came home last night, and she said, ‘Do you know his real name? It's Bruce Banner!’”
It’s so exciting because I know all this stuff that's going on and planning in the background and she has no clue, it makes it even more exciting. It's like this secret that we're planning. I can't wait!Andrea, Emily's Mum
Emily Rings The Bell
It’s not the only thing Emily’s family is excited about – earlier this month, Emily officially rang the bell to declare herself cancer-free.
Andrea said she was so moved by the entire team of people who were there to watch Emily ring the bell, all as happy as the family were.
“I couldn't stop crying. It was just so beautiful how many people turned out. This isn’t just about us, it’s an achievement for a whole team of people!”
She gave everybody who was watching a high five. And then she ran to me, and that was my moment. Because, throughout it all, I've been the tough one – I’ve been the one that’s like ‘no, suck it up princess you have to take these meds’ or ‘you have to eat something for me today!’ I was worried I was too tough, but the fact that she gave everyone a high five and then she ran to me - I was like ‘no, okay! I’ve played it alright!’”
With bright red hair and the personality to match, Emily’s fiery energy has bounced back since the being off her medication too.
“[since being off medications] She’s much chirpier in the morning when she wakes up! She’s kind of bouncing out of bed and just getting on with the day and she’s really happy to do so! I said to her at the weekend, ‘do you feel different?’ And she said, ‘I really do!'. It’s amazing how quickly their little bodies start to bounce back.”
A Quiet Achiever
For Emily, she’s ecstatic to be back home and in the classroom. With Andrea as both mum and home schoolteacher for six months in Perth – they were both happy when Emily could return to school.
“It was such a fight, every day to get her to do schoolwork. I'm not a teacher, so I see it from the perspective of, ‘can we just get this over and done with and then go out to play?’ Whereas at school you break up the work with other activities. So, mum wasn’t very fun.”
“She’s loving being back! She's such a quiet achiever. She doesn't tell me much about school, apart from whether it was good or not. Then her report comes, and you're blown away. She's such a little worker! She loves math's, loves reading and science.”
The Beat of Her Own Drum
From day dot, Emily’s always marched to the beat of her own drum.
“If she's in a situation where the kids don’t really want to play her game, she'll just go play by herself! She's friends with everyone – so she has lots of friends - but no particularly close friends. She just plays with lots of kids at school, and each day can be different!”
As an outgoing and boisterous 7-year-old, she loves to dance and sing and loves music!
“Some of her music types leave a lot to be desired for a 7-year-old,” laughs Andrea.
“She really loves like hip hop and R&B. I spotted her playlist the other day and thought ‘you shouldn't be listening to that!’ It’s funny, I really don't think that she pays attention to the words so much as the beat and the rhythm, because she just loves to dance.
“She does gymnastics on a Wednesday; she loves to play drafts or checkers. She's quite arty and she's a very sore loser. Which is probably typical in a 7-year-old. And yes, she can be quite spicy and quite physical with her dad. Sometimes she’s like ‘I know karate, you know’ and I’m like “no you don’t’ and she says, ‘I do!’”
She just wants to be Emily!
When asked by Andrea what her superhero name would be, Emily shot Andrea a look and said “Mummy, it’s Emily!”
“She just wants to be herself! I’m really looking forward to just seeing her little face as the wish comes true – and celebrating as a family. It’s amazing to have something for Emily, but that we’re all a part of as a family.”
“We're going to remember this for the rest of our days. And the fact it's going to be some of her oncology team that she saves. That's going to be amazing - they've helped her and now she's helping them. I think that's just going to be a real icing on the cake for her!”
“She just wants to be herself! I’m really looking forward to just seeing her little face as the wish comes true – and celebrating as a family. It’s amazing to have something for Emily, but that we’re all a part of as a family.”Andrea, Emily's Mum
Emily's Wish Day
Emily's day started with a "Super Special Superhero Transfer" to Bounce, where her training would begin. There she met Spider-Man, Iron-Man, Starlord, Captain America, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Dr Strange, and Sorcerer Supreme Wong - What a SUPERTEAM! She loved learning all about the superheroes, and even more so, that they were cheering each other on.
When the call from Loki came in, it was Emily's time to shine! Although she was worried that she hadn't completed her training, and wasn't ready to face a real bad guy, Scarlet Witch reassured her that Loki is bad because he is mean and lonely and doesn't have friends or family. Emily has her friends and family so she IS ready to face him.
As she arrived, Loki cast a spell that froze the entire state of Perth, and Emily was the only one that could stop him! Spider-Man sensed she may need an extra boost, so he rolled out of the spell to encourage Emily - and that was all the boost she needed! She saved Perth, and defeated Loki!
Emily found the courage to put her HULK training to good use and save the state of Perth! Seeing Loki taken away by the Perth Police was the cherry on the cake for her! She walked out to cheers from the crowd as Perth's favourite superhero!
It truly exceeded all expectations. We knew it was going to be fantastic, but it just kept coming and coming!Andrea, Emily's mum
Impact of a Wish
Not only did Emily save the world, but she got to spend a day of adventure with the people she loves the most!
Emily had her sidekick (and sister) Jessica by her side all day, and their mum, Andrea, said that spending this time with her sister was exactly the support Emily needed. It's something they will both cherish forever, and Andrea said that it's fantastic that they are able to share these memories together.
After saving Perth, Emily got to give a big HUG to each of her nurses, and Dr. Santosh, who she loves and admires deeply. Having them attend Emily's special day meant a lot to her family.
Di, one of Emily's nurses said, "I am so proud to be saved by Emily!"
Thank you seems like such a small word for all that it means with this wish.Andrea, Emily's mum