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To provide financial support to Vermont, New York, and California families enduring pediatric cancer.
To promote the implementation of creative writing in schools.

Emily M Lyman Foundation

About Emily

   ​​​​   Emily Mary Lyman was born August 21, 1997 in Burlington, Vermont. She was born with the ability to question, observe, and write with beautiful clarity. ( " A SPRING HEART " )
      Emily was diagnosed with leukemia when she was two and a half years old, ultimately relapsing three times. She never defined herself by her disease. She rarely discussed it amongst her peers or used her condition as an excuse, instead she chose to focus her energy on her family, acting, playing board games, writing, reading, learning and questioning everything.

Emily had a strong sense of family. She loved her two sisters and her brother, and she enjoyed nothing more than sitting around the family table and playing a rousting game of Gin Rummy, Blurt, or poker. ( “SONG OF FAMILY” )

       Emily loved to act. It allowed her to step out of her own body, and all of the hardships that it had endured, and to become a completely different character. She was involved in the drama clubs at both Mater Christi School and Rice High School ( “THEATER BALLAD” ).

        Luna, our first Border collie, was a gift to Emily as a reward for surviving a grueling bone marrow transplant. Luna was followed by Calvin, and 3 subsequent litters of 6 puppies each. We kept a puppy from the last litter – Elvis. Emily adored these three dogs, but Luna remained the truly special one. ( "LUNA" )

        Emily’s favorite color was blue. The majority of her clothes were blue, she had a special blue chair where she would curl up and read and write for hours, and she had plans to buy a blue Mini Cooper. At her Memorial Service, everyone wore blue in remembrance of her determination and strength of character. ( “BLUE” )

        Emily always looked on the bright side of things.  She searched for the silver lining and rarely complained. When she found out the leukemia had returned for the 4th time, from that moment to the time when she died 46 hours later, she never cried once or lamented ”Why me?”. . Emily was wise way beyond her years. In the end, she was the one teaching us.

The following is an excerpt from a letter she wrote to herself in 7th grade:

            "The advice I give you will still probably be in your head when you read this, but in case you have forgotten it, here is what I have to offer: When you’re sad, think about all of the good things you have in life and how lucky you are to have them. Always look on the bright side of things. Do what you enjoy. Don’t let other people influence your actions too much. Try your best at everything and most of all, be the good person I know you are. Never stop trying."

                                   Love your very best friend,



Emily and her family with one of their many litters of border collie puppies
The Emily M Lyman Foundation hopes to gives both intellectual and spiritual light, through writing workshops, author's visits, and Emily's many wonderful  writing pieces.
The Emily M Lyman Foundation strives to make the lives of families coping with pediatric cancer more cheerful and bright through monetary contributions.
Emily enlightend our world with her intellectual curiosity and her positive outlook on life. She had an impact on everyone she met. Her determination and insight were contagious. We continue to learn from her.