Emily Whitehead Family to Speak at Pa. Bio Conference
Tom and Kari Whitehead, parents of Four Diamonds Child Emily Whitehead, will speak about the experimental treatment that saved their daughter’s life at Pennsylvania Bio’s annual conference later this week.
The conference, which will take place at the Philadelphia Convention Center on Wednesday, brings together life sciences professionals from throughout Pennsylvania to “[serve] as a catalyst to ensure Pennsylvania is the global leader in the biosciences by creating a cohesive community that unites our biotechnology, medical device, diagnostic, pharmaceutical, research, and financial strengths,” per a press release.
After being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or ALL, in May 2010, Emily’s story began drawing international attention in April 2012 after her parents chose to enroll her in an experimental program held at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. In a Phase 1 clinical trial, Emily was given modified T-Cells designed to help fight off cancer cells, and was one of the first pediatric patients to enroll in the trial. After the transplant, Emily fought through the cancer and sickness that resulted from the procedure in a near death fight. In May, Emily was declared in remission and the procedure was deemed a success and she is currently 18 months cancer free.
Emily’s victory against cancer is one of the many things THON volunteers and supporters will celebrate this Wednesday, as the conference happens to fall on the same day as this year’s 100 Days Til THON celebration. Advancements like Emily’s procedure remind us that one day we will dance in celebration, but until then, we will dance for a cure.