There’s a poster that hangs on the door of Emma Aanderud’s hospital room that reads, “Cancer Sucks, But Life Doesn’t.” That’s a sentiment that this energetic, friendly teen has fully embraced throughout her treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Despite multiple rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, Emma has maintained her positive attitude and inspires kids like her to do the same. “If a kid is going through cancer, I want them to know that someone out there understands,” she explained. “Someone did that for me when I was first diagnosed, and I want to pay it forward.”
As she continues to recover, Emma is reveling in simple pleasures like fresh air, good friends, and singing. She’s been taking online classes so she can graduate with her class and has big plans for life after high school. “I want to go to college and have a job and a family and go where life takes me,” she says. “Most of all, I want to be happy.”