Emily “Emz” Pulis is a strong, independent 16-year-old with an infectious grin and a powerful hug. While she may seem quiet at first, it’s not long before she starts cracking jokes and looking for ways to make you smile.
Emily was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 1 and scoliosis as a child, which has required her to undergo multiple surgeries, long hospital stays, and most recently, a cranial halo to help straighten out her spine. (She just had her halo removed, and is very excited about it!)
Despite these challenges, Emily maintains an exceptionally positive outlook, according to staff at Shriners Hospitals for Children. “She has a huge heart and makes room for everybody,” said Hanna, a social worker on Emily’s care team. “Whenever there’s a new kid, Emily rolls out the welcome wagon and lets them know that they have a friend.”
Emily has a pretty special friend of her own: her Chemo Pal Delilah. The two like to call themselves “Halo Buddies” and have quickly bonded over a shared love for shopping, cinnamon rolls, movies, and Starbucks. “It’s been so great to hang out with someone with similar interests,” explained Emily. “Delilah is like a sister to me.”
As for Delilah, the feeling is mutual. “We’re kind of obsessed with each other,” she laughed.