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Emma’s Story

Emma lived and loved life to the fullest, always managing to keep a beautiful smile on her face.

Emma Marie Marques was a brave little girl from Longwood, Florida, who loved to dance, draw, travel, spend time at the beach, and of course, pretend she was a princess. Born on June 4th, 2009 to parents Donna and George, Emma lived and loved life to the fullest, always managing to keep a beautiful smile on her face.

In May of 2014, just a month before her fifth birthday, Emma was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Giloma (DIPG), an aggressive, inoperable brain tumor that primarily affects kids her age. For most children, news like this would be devastating, but Emma wasn’t like most children.  

As she began to seek treatment, her family took a trip to New York to meet with doctors and Emma instantly fell in love with the city. She always had dreams of writing a book, but from the first moment she got to New York, she just knew the city was what her book would be about. 

During a hospital visit, Emma was introduced to the founder of a non-profit. His plan was to help bring her book to life. He placed a sketchpad in front of her and she began to draw her little heart out. She knew her story wasn’t just going to be about the fun things she did in the city. She wanted to write about why she was in New York to help inspire other children who were also undergoing treatment.

Because of Emma, a foundation called Books That Heal was born, with her book, “Emma the Brave” being the first of many to be published. In the book, she takes us on an adventure, experiencing the magic of New York City, where her bravery truly shines.

On Feb 3, 2016, after a 22 month long battle, at the tender age of 6, Emma lost her fight with paediatric brain cancer. But what the little Warrior Princess left behind, was a story of true inspiration. So in her words, "Whenever you are hurting and feel like you're falling apart, think of Emma the Brave - She's there in your heart".

“Whenever you are hurting and feel like you're falling apart, think of Emma the Brave - She's there in your heart.”

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