Emma Grace developed a sudden severe headache when she was nine back in 2011.

She began vomiting and could not move her neck. Emma Grace then Came to Levine Children’s Hospital and found out she had an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) in her frontal lobe and another in her occipital lobe, both of which had hemorrhaged. AVMs affect less than 1% of the population.

She then underwent multiple procedures, including a full craniotomy to remove the AVM. A piece of the AVM was inoperable, so she underwent radiation to the brain to try and remove the remaining piece. After, Emma Grace had physical, speech and occupational therapy, which she received through the Levine Children’s Hospital. Here, she had to focus on basic skills like walking, eating with utensils and tying her shoes.

While Emma Grace was in the hospital, child life specialists went and talked with her 4th-grade classmates to help them understand what happened to Emma Grace and brought a stuffed monkey to sit in Emma Grace’s chair at school while she was out. Emma Grace is now a member of & and her school’s HOSA Club. (Health Occupation Students of America) Emma Grace will continue to be checked for AVM regrowth, but she is a miracle!

You can help bring hope back to those children in need like Emma by donating to the Levine Children’s Hospital this holiday season. Your gift will bring hope to our patients and their families and will help each child at Levine Children’s Hospital have an unforgettable holiday.


Alexis Zarycki is your average girl with the hopes of leaving an everlasting impact on the world. Follow her on Instagram @official_lexpaige