Community rallies to help Newmarket girl suffering from rare disease

Newmarket residents have rallied together to help local nine-year-old girl Emma Hill, who suffers from a rare and mysterious disease, get out of hospital to spend more time with her family at home.

Doctors don’t fully understand Emma’s illness, which first emerged back in October when she went to the Hospital for Sick Children complaining of fatigue and shortness of breath. Her health quickly deteriorated to the point where she could no longer stand, sit or breathe on her own.

Emma requires 24-hour care. Her family needs specialized equipment and treatments in order to make their home accommodating to Emma’s medical needs.

“So far we’ve been trying to raise funds for her home care because Emma is still in hospital and she’s been coming home on weekends whenever possible,” family friend and fundraising organizer Erin Wynn told

Emma is currently at the Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.  She still doesn’t have a formal diagnosis.

A website has been set up to accept donations.

The youngster’s school, Stonehaven Elementary, organized the sale of special “Emma is …” pins to raise funds.

The sale of those buttons, which list Emma’s virtues and are now being sold around the community, have raised more than $10,000.

“Our goal would be closer to $40,000 to cover the medical expenses she faces,” Wynn said.

An indoor playground in Newmarket called Kids at Sea is donating its profits on Friday to the “Emma” fund.

“We’re hoping and praying to give [the family] $5,000 by the end of the day,” Kids at Sea co-owner Sam Felhaber told

Emma was expected to stop by the centre Friday afternoon for the special event.

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