Turning lemons into lemonade

Turning lemons into lemonade

“If Emma could do it, I can do it”.  That’s what sixth grader Johnny Sorial tells himself each time he’s faced with a scary procedure to fight his cancer.

He’s referring to his best friend Emma Bergeron, a fifth grader and neighbor. Emma was diagnosed with the same leukemia Johnny has at the age of four. Now in remission, Emma is a major force in pulling Johnny through his treatment, which will last for another year. Whether it’s going with him to doctor’s appointments and treatment, or texting to check in and just hanging out, Emma and Johnny share a common bond that others could never understand.

Their friendship is a bond that has brought not only Johnny and Emma, but their families together. Their parents share the fears and frustration of childhood cancer, as well as the hope and determination that’s needed to get through their children through it.

But while Emma and Johnny share the identical disease, they receive treatment at two different Chicago children’s hospitals; Johnny at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge and Emma at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. This holiday season, the duo presented checks to each hospital to show gratitude for their care. The budding philanthropists raised $12,000 from a lemonade stand and split their earnings between both hospitals.

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About the Author

Evonne Woloshyn
Evonne Woloshyn

Evonne Woloshyn, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs at Advocate Children's Hospital. Evonne began her career as an anchor and reporter in broadcast news. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in health care marketing in both Ohio and Illinois. Evonne loves to travel, spend time with family and is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan!