The Best Thanksgiving

Family Celebrates Daughter’s Cure From Deadly Disease and the Love of Two Moms in Two Countries Who Made Cure Possible

Bethesda, Maryland, UNITED STATES

Bethesda, Maryland, Nov. 26, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- One Texas family has lots to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Their daughter, now 13, is doing well after undergoing a bone marrow transplant–the only chance for a cure for her rare and deadly disease. But Emi’s story is not only a story about the triumph of medical research that is making her cure possible–it’s also a story about extraordinary parental love and sacrifices by her birth mom and her adoptive family that are giving this very ill girl the best chance at life. Emi's birth mom donated her stem cells to make the lifesaving transplant possible. 

“We are most thankful for an answer to years of prayers,” Emi’s adoptive mom says. “Emi got a new start at life, a rebirth day. Every holiday this year will be like the first. We’re so grateful to the doctors, nurses and The Children’s Inn.” 

Emi and her family will be celebrating Thanksgiving at The Children’s Inn at NIH, a nonprofit hospitality house that provides free lodging and a wide variety of support services to families of children with rare and serious diseases whose best chance for a treatment is a clinical research study at the National Institutes of Health. Emi and her mom have spent several months at The Children’s Inn so far and bonded with other families. On Thanksgiving Day, families staying at The Children’s Inn who cannot go home for the holiday will be served a traditional Thanksgiving meal prepared by a group of dedicated volunteers.

“It took two moms who love this little nugget to fight for her right to life,” Emi’s adoptive mom says. “We finally are getting to see that beautiful part of the story that we always knew was there.”

Read Emi’s full story.

See photos of Emi and her family.

About The Children’s Inn at NIH:

The Children’s Inn at NIH provides free lodging and a wide range of supportive services to more than 1,500 children and their families every year whose best chance for a treatment is a clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health. Opened in 1990 and located across from the NIH Clinical Center, the world’s largest hospital dedicated entirely to medical research, The Children’s Inn has welcomed children from all 50 states and 94 countries. Children staying at The Children’s Inn are making important contributions to rare disease and cancer research, including the successful treatment of childhood leukemia, as well as treatments for HIV/AIDS, childhood asthma, bone and growth diseases, childhood onset schizophrenia and other mental health issues, neurofibromatosis type 1 and a wide variety of genetic and rare diseases. For more information, visit To support The Children’s Inn, make a donation at




Emi receives kisses from her adoptive parents, Jason and Katie Ballard, at the NIH Clinical Center as she gets ready to receive a lifesaving hematopoietic stem cell transplant, the only way to cure her fatal immune deficiency, using cells donated by her birth mom. Emi smiles at The Children's Inn at NIH prior to undergoing a hematopoietic stem cell transplant, the only potential cure for her rare and deadly immune deficiency.

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