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Emory | lens of hope

As we sat and talked, she tapped her leg with a piece of metal “treasure” she had found while they were at the park. The tiny metallic clangs echoed through the picnic pavilion. A group of young campers sat at the table behind us, eating their snacks. A few of them stole sideways glances, curious looks and whispers.

“When can we go down to the playground?” she asked, boredom creeping into her voice. Realizing we were probably on borrowed time, her mom and sister packed up their things and we made the short trek down the path to the bright red, green, and yellow structure.

Last Spring, Emory began complaining that her leg hurt, though never enough to wake her up from her sleep or keep her sidelined from doing all the things she loved so much, like gymnastics. It was likely growing pains, everyone had reasoned, especially since there was no redness or swelling- no other red flag that would point to something much scarier. They went on about their lives for the next few months, but at Emory’s next well visit, her mom, Jen, circled back to it one more time. Yes, it was still bothering her. The doctor ran his hand down Emory’s right leg. This time, his tone shifted immediately.

“You need to go down to VCU today,” he told them.

It was a Thursday when they were sent to the hospital. Jen dismissed the thought that it could be anything other than an injury. It wasn’t until the following week, after doctors read through scans and X rays (and Jen had tried unsuccessfully to read the expressions of the poker-faced techs), th