One gutsy gal from the Goulds

Kielly Emberley has been hospitalized three times, undergone surgery and has to take monthly infusions of a drug that makes her nauseous and susceptible to a host of ailments including influenza, pneumonia and measles. But even all that hasn’t stopped the Grade 9 St. Kevin’s High School student from making the honours roll at school and performing as a leader on numerous basketball teams.
Not only does Emberley refuse to let ulcerative colitis get the better of her, she also takes positive steps to help find a cure for the disease, participating with her family, teammates and friends every year in the annual Gutsy Walk, which raises money for Crohn’s and Colitis Canada. 
This year’s walk, conducted in sodden weather in Paradise, raised some $77,000 for the organization.
Emberley’s mom, Donna, is understandably proud of the courage and perseverance shown by her daughter. Not only does Kielly play a lot of top calibre basketball – both with the Sonics and St. Kevin’s Grade 9, Grade 10 and senior girls teams where she has earned a spot in the provincial training pod for the 2017 Canada Games – but she is also on the school running team and participates in many extracurricular activities.
Kielly was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at age 10. “Since that time, she has been hospitalized three times and undergone surgeries,” said her mom. “She has been on thousands of pills in that time and is currently receiving monthly infusions of Remicade to keep her symptoms at bay. Unfortunately, it is not a cure, but a drug that usually allows her four weeks symptom free. Yet, the drug also causes her to be extremely sick and makes her susceptible to influenza, pneumonia, measles, etcetera. Therefore, Kielly is always sick. But it still doesn’t stop her.”
To deal with the disease, Donna said, Kielly decided to become involved with the Crohn’s and Colitis foundation to help raise awareness and funds. “She attends their summer camp and is a leader in training for this camp,” Donna noted. “She is a spokesperson for the foundation and attends events to speak to other children about her experience and help them cope with the disease. She is an inspiration to many and always has a smile on her face.”
Walking alongside Kielly this year, sporting the same lime green tee shirts, was a bevy of her teammates, friends and even some past and present coaches and teachers. If the bright colour wasn’t enough, the team name emblazoned on them, “Kielly’s Gutsy Gals,” was equally noticeable.
“It is such a wonderful event that also shows how much support that Kielly gets from her Goulds community,” said Mom. “They are always there to support her.”

Posted on June 24, 2015 .