World Cancer Day – The Emery Family

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta provides a home-away-from-home for over 1,000 families each year, and we are grateful when they share their stories with supporters. The Emery family shared this story (edited for publishing).


When Braeden Emery began having severe headaches at eight years old, his mother Heather, was at a loss. “No matter what I did, nothing would help relieve his pain,” recalled Heather. After a trip to the doctor, he was diagnosed with Anaplastic Ependymoma Grade 3, a type of cancerous tumor found in the nervous system and primarily in the brain when seen in children. “We were shocked, scared, nervous. Braeden wasn’t sure what to make of it. How would I juggle everything, keep all the facts straight, keep up with his appointments, and still let him be a normal kid?”
Soon after the diagnosis, Braeden had two brain surgeries and completed over 60 rounds of radiation. For two years, there were no recurrences. However, in August of 2021, a mass effect was discovered. He had his third surgery and is now participating in a Phase II clinical trial at the Georgia Cancer Center in Augusta, GA.
“Our first visit to RMHC Augusta was on August 10, 2022 when we came up to start the clinical trial,” says Heather. “We live over seven hours away in Florida, and what a lifesaver it’s been. RMHC provides all meals, warm beds, laundry facilities, entertainment in the community, like baseball games and boat tours, and the staff is just wonderful. I don’t have to worry about where we’ll stay or finding food during our visits. I can focus on Braeden, his appointments, and his health.”
Currently, Braeden is facing his 4th craniotomy to remove as much as possible of the tumor. “The biggest triumph for our family is that my son has been fighting this horrible disease for over 5 years and is still kicking its butt,” boasted Heather.
To honor families like Braeden’s on World Cancer Day, consider making a donation to RMHC Augusta.

We hope that this story has inspired you to get involved and help families just like this one. The staff, our volunteers, and the Board of Directors thank the Emery family for sharing their story, and we hope you will consider getting involved with our mission.