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Emma's Story

Why We Race for Every Child...

We have SO many reasons to participate in Race for Every Child here at FIT4MOM MOCO + FREDERICK. We shared Lily's Story and why we originally began participating in this race, we shared Owen's Story, and now we want to spotlight another family from our village and why it's also so important to them!

We're spotlighting Emma this time! This brave girl has a story that reminds us all to love and appreciate what Children's National is doing for families around the nation. 💕

Thank you, Tara, for sharing Emma's Story!

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Emma Jean Cirks was born February 8, 2014 at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. She was born with an unexpected and very rare congenital heart defect called Ebstein's Anomaly. Within a few hours of birth, Emma was airlifted to the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C. where she would spend the first 5 1/2 months of life. While she was there, Emma had 4 surgeries total (2 open heart, 1 diaphragm plication, and a g-tube placement for feeding), 2 cardiac catheterizations, hundreds of x-rays, 2 PICC lines, and many other tests/procedures. On July 18, 2014, Emma was finally discharged for the first time! On September 13, 2014, Emma’s Entourage was on the way to run our first Race for Every Child. Unfortunately, Emma went into cardiac arrest in the car and was once again airlifted back to the CICU at Children's National where she spent another month. After another catheterization, an MRI, CT scans, and other tests, the cause of the arrest is still unknown. Due to the complexity of Emma’s heart condition and many complications from her first year, Emma also has chronic lung issues, developmental delays, and many other health issues. Between Walter Reed and Children’s National, she is followed by more than a dozen specialists.

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Through the years, she has required many hospitalizations for respiratory viruses and has had other procedures/tests done. In September of 2019 Emma had her 3rd and 4th open heart surgery, a tricuspid valve replacement and she had a pacemaker implanted.

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Emma is a happy, thriving 7 year old because of the world class care she has received at Children’s National. The doctors, nurses, social workers, and other staff that are a part of the CICU and HKU have become a second family to ours and so many others like us. She will require life long care for her complex heart condition and will likely need more hospitalizations/procedures/surgeries in her future and we are so incredibly thankful that we have an amazing hospital to provide that for her.

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Thank you for sharing Emma's story with us! We adore her and love having your family in our village!

Ready to join our race team yet? Even though this year is virtual, it is as important as ever to participate in this fun important event! And plus, it's free!

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