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For the past two years, the SCO community has rallied around the family of Jared Ivie, OD '09. The summer before he began his senior year at SCO, he and his wife, Kerie, learned that their three-year-old daughter, Emma, had been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer.
Emma has bravely battled the disease over the past two years. In March, she was named St. Jude Children's Research Hospital's Patient of the Month. Now an SCO resident, Dr. Ivie has spent most of Emma's five years in Memphis pursuing his optometric education.
When Emma asked if she could have her fifth birthday party at the SCO Activity Center, a site she connected with fun and games at her father's alma mater, SCO responded in a major way to make Emma's birthday a very happy one.
Emma requested a Disney Cinderella princess party, so a group of SCO volunteers went to work transforming the Activity Center gym into a castle backdrop, complete with a throne for Princess Emma. Local businesses donated their time and service, including a horse-drawn Cinderella coach that took Emma and her family to her birthday party on Wednesday, April 7. Hundreds of students, faculty and staff lined a parade route as Emma waved on her way to her birthday ball.
Waiting were dozens of invited children and friends and family of the Ivies. Royal trumpeters heralded Emma's arrival on the red carpet leading to her throne. Guests enjoyed face and finger-painting, jewelry making, Princess cupcakes, a popcorn machine and fun and games.
Cinderella herself made an appearance and led the children in reading stories and dancing to music. Emma enjoyed opening birthday gifts that included dolls and an Easy Bake Oven.
Emma Ivie's fifth birthday was a Red Letter Day at SCO. The college was privileged to facilitate and host this special event for a member of the SCO family. Look for additional photos and a video to be uploaded soon from the event.
You may watch this St. Jude video to learn more about Emma.