Welcome

This site is about Emily Isabella Cortez and her fight over Optic Glioma a form of brain cancer. She will be sharing her thoughts, feelings and insights as she goes through this journey. Please check back regularly for updates on her progress.


We also hope to help raise brain cancer awareness. Together, we can ensure better odds for future generations.  We pray for Emily's cure.

Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.

5/26/2013 Diagnosis

       Emily's Cure

My Journal

On this day I was diagnosed with Optic Glioma brain cancer.

I'm accepting donations to help fight brain cancer.

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My family and friends are sending my parents messages of hope, love and support...

5/27/2013 - Support from Family and Friends

6/4/2013 - First Chemo visit

The first day of chemotherapy was difficult for my parents.   We received lots of messages from family and friends with support.

6/11/2013- Second Chemo visit

6/18/2013- Third Chemo visit

Not a good day.  I lost 1.5 pounds.  My blood count went down and I needed a blood transfusion.  My blood type is O positive.  I'm asking family and friends who are O positive to please donate blood.  My mommy has setup a blood bank account.  Please click on the donations page for more information.

Good day. My blood count went up. No blood transfusion needed today.  No weight loss. Height 25.5 inches.  I am 5 months and 2 days today.   I spent a nice day with my Uncle/Pradino Willie.  I have to return on Friday for more blood work. My goal is to gain more weight so I can continue to be strong during chemo treatment.

6/25/2013- Fourth Chemo visit

Weight 11 lbs 10.6 oz, height 26 3/4 in.  My hemoglobin blood count dropped to 8.5 and I may need a blood transfusion by Friday :( 

I was given a new chemo medication today.  The doctors will watch my condition and determine if I need another blood transfusion on Friday.

7/2/2013 - Fifth Chemo visit

7/9/2013 - Week 6 Chemo visit

 Comfortable day at chemo.  Weight 11 lbs 9.6 oz.   Santa came to visit me at the hospital today and gave me a gift.   Check out my new photos.  All blood test results are great.  My hemoglobin is at 11.1 and my blood platelets are 100.  Loving my new toy Santa brought me.  Christmas in July :)

  Good day.  Weight 11 lbs 13.2 oz.  Height 26 1/2" long.  My blood count is good.  I will be receiving a new Chemo treatment as of Friday for a period of 5 days. Next Wednesday 7/24 I will receive my first MRI.  My grandpa arrived from Florida to spend time with me.  Check out my new photos. God bless.

7/16/2013 - Week 7 Chemo visit

 Great day!  Today I received my MRI results. When I was diagnosed in May the tumor was 2.8 by 1.9 in size. The MRI results show that the tumor is now 2.2 by 1.4 above my eyes. The tumor has shrunk in a matter of 2 months.  Part of the tumor broke into two pieces. It's like a miracle! My doctors say this is a big deal. The chemo treatments are working helping me recover. The doctors say my vision will also improve.  Mom and Dad are extremely happy with joy. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

7/24/2013 - First MRI Result

Today I was baptized by my aunt Lisa and Uncle Willie.   What a blessed day.  We had a wonderful family gathering at home to celebrate my baptism.  Check out the new pictures.  God bless.

7/27/2013 - Baptism

Great news! My doctor received my MRI results today.  My brain tumor has shrunk by 50% in most areas and 25% in other areas.  It's truly a miracle! My parents are so happy.  We will have more information during my chemo treatment next week. 

10/16/2013 - 2nd MRI results

Happy New Year everyone.  We want to wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year in 2014. I had a wonderful first New Years eve celebration with my family.  Check out my photos.

1/1/2014 - Happy New Year!

Celebrating my First Birthday today! Check out my photos.

1/23/2014 - Happy Birthday to me!

Today my mom and I appeared on WABC-TV Eyewitness News at 6pm. This is a great story about a meals program for children undergoing cancer treatments.  This program helps feed our family especially when we spend long days at the hospital.  Thank you Dr. Sapna Parikh, Tomorrows Children Fund, and Stacy Antine HealthBarn Foundation. Check out the video.  http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/video?id=9507649    

4/17/2014 - WABC-TV News Story

I had a wonderful time with my family this Easter Sunday.  Check out my new photos.

4/20/2014 - Easter

11/28/2013 - First Thanksgiving

I had a wonderful first Thanksgiving with my family.  Check out my photos.

MRI#6 completed today.  The results of my MRI show that the tumor did not shrink or grow in size.  My condition is stable and I'm doing well today.  The next MRI will be taken around September. The surgery to replace my port has been scheduled for June 4th. Thank you for your continued support. 

5/19/2014 - MRI#6

Today marks the 1 year date from when I was first diagnosed with cancer.   My family visited to celebrate Memorial Day.  We had a really nice day for a BBQ cookout.  It was great spending time with my family and friends.   Check out the photos

5/26/2014 - 1 year diagnosis / Memorial Day

The surgery to replace my port was completed successfully.  I am doing good. This new port will help me during chemo treatments. I will feel less pain and discomfort. 

6/4/2014 - Surgery completed

MRI#7 completed today.  The results of my MRI show that the tumor did shrink a little.  The doctors discovered that I have a small amount of Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain area where the shrinkage occurred. Its a condition known as hydrocephalus. I have an appointment with a brain surgeon next week to determine if surgery will be needed to install a shunt, which is a device that would drain the fluid out of my brain.  Since the condition is very limited we are hoping that surgery will not be needed.  My last chemo treatment at the clinic is still scheduled for Sept 9th.

8/14/2014 - MRI#7 results

I completed my final chemo treatment at the clinic.  My hemoglobin blood count was good. My weight is 21 lbs.  My doctors will monitor my condition after each MRI. Next MRI is on Oct 29th. I have one last 5 day at home treatment at the end of the month. Check out my new photos with the nurses and staff at the clinic.  Please remember to register for the event.

09/09/2014 - Last day of Chemo at the clinic

08/29/2014 - Farewell to Dr. Thompson

Farewell to Dr. Thompson. You will be missed. Sad that you left but we are truly thankful and grateful for having you as Emily's Oncologist. You are a wonderful, dedicated and kind Doctor. Emily is healthier and happier because of you. Hope to see you again.

09/28/2014 - Walk to end Children's brain cancer

The walk to end Children's brain cancer was a huge success.  Thank everyone who joined us and sponsored our team.  There were many families walking. They raised thousands of dollars for this great cause.  Special thanks to the Children's Brain Tumor foundation for hosting this event.  Please visit our photos page to see pictures taken during the event.  

I have been visiting several doctors for a follow up on my health condition. On Nov 7th I met with my Endocrinologists who said that my hormone growth patter is developing.  I grew 1 1/2 inch which is great.  On Nov 11th I met with my ophthalmologist to check my eye vision. Unfortunately the vision on my right eye is

deteriorating from the tumor.  The vision on my left eye is stronger. The doctor recommended I wear a patch on the left eye three hours a day to help strengthen the vision on the right eye. We pray that in time the vision on my right eye will strengthen.  My hemoglobin blood counts are normal and I weigh 21 Lbs.  I have a follow up visit with my Audiologist Monday to test my hearing.  The MRI has been re-scheduled for Dec 11th.

Please visit our photos page to check out my new pictures.  

11/15/2014 - Follow up Dr. visits

10/11/2014 - Last Chemo treatment at home

I completed my last chemo treatment at home.  We celebrated by hosting a wonderful dinner with friends and family. We also celebrated my Mom's birthday.  The doctors will monitor my condition after each MRI.  The next MRI#8 is scheduled for November 15th.  Please visit our photos page to check out my new pictures.