Club Gymnastics mourns the loss of their THON child, Emilia Dameshek

Photo by Club Gymnastics

With a heavy heart, Club Gymnastics said goodbye to their THON child of three years, Emilia Dameshek, last month.

Club Gymnastics was first captivated by Emilia in 2014, after her initial cancer diagnosis of Ewing’s Sarcoma. “The first thing we ever saw of Emilia was an adorable YouTube video of this little sassy blonde teaching a gymnastics move—we knew immediately she was a perfect match!” says Club Gym alum and former THON dancer, Kristen McKelvey. Emilia was in remission during her first THON, in 2014.

But in the Spring of 2015, Emilia was diagnosed with a secondary cancer— one that occurred as a result of her chemotherapy treatments. The Dameshek family was told that Emilia needed a bone marrow transplant, but unfortunately, Emilia did not have a match in the bone marrow donor registry.

This is when Club Gymnastics decided to host their “Be The Match” bone marrow drive. In just two days spent at the Hub, over 200 students joined the National Bone Marrow Registry. And although a match for Emilia was not found, a student who signed up was a potential match for another person in need of a transplant.

Claire Levy, senior, and Club Gymnastics’ 2015-2016 THON chair says she knows Emilia as the girl who “never showed fear or pain,” despite what she was going through.

“She never showed that she was scared when she was about to get more treatment or another transplant, or another surgery. She was always so positive about everything.” She says.

Needless to say, letting go of Emilia has been the most difficult thing the members of Club Gymnastics have had to do during their time as an organization on campus.

“Words can’t describe how devastated we are to have to say goodbye to such an incredible little girl who has impacted all of our lives in so many amazing ways.” says Collin Hensley, junior, Club Gym president.

“Every moment we spent with her was filled with laughter and joy and we’re so thankful to the Dameshek family for accepting us into their lives with such open arms, and for sharing their sweet Emilia with us for the past three years. Everything we do will still be for them and for Emilia, always.”

Club Gymnastics informed us that, if anyone would like to help the family at this time, donations can be made to the Four Diamonds Fund, Chemowarrior, and Be The Match Bone Marrow Registry in Emilia’s name to honor her life.

The staff at Valley sends our condolences to the family and friends of Emilia Dameshek, as well as Club Gymnastics during this trying time. Rest easy Emilia, you are so loved.