We couldn't make this happen if it weren't for our awesome team. Here are their reasons for bringing the thunder to childhood cancer.


Peter Halper

The Runner

(Emery's Great Uncle)

The strongest compelling desire that motivates me in running is that the hurting, those that I run for, will feel even the faintest whisper of “I am seen.”


On April 13, 2020, with the support of Emery’s Memory Foundation, I will start Emery’s Thunder Run. The 3,100 mile coast to coast run across the U. S. is designed to raise awareness about Neuroblastoma, a cancer affecting children that is extremely challenging to successfully fight and one that is grossly underfunded when it comes to research.


In addition to generating awareness the run will be used to generate donations to fund research as well as money to give directly to the families that are fighting this cancer.


There are 19 very special reasons why I am running across the country. The run is broken into 19 segments and every segment is dedicated in support of a child with Neuroblastoma.


Running has become my whisper to them and their parents. My way of saying “I see you” and I am doing all that I can to help.


I wish running could make their pain and heartbreak better, but I know it does not. Those who do need to hear will hear, and as a result of the work of Emery’s Memory Foundation and Emery’s Thunder Run, my personal hope and conviction is that 19 families will know without a doubt that they are seen in their suffering.


Jenna Smith

Founder & Director

(Emery's Mommy)

My reason why is Emery and always will be. Emery was my mini me and my whole world.


Even though she was only being two years old at diagnosis and three years old when she passed she was able to inspire so many with her courage, her love of life and her amazing smile. She fought so incredibly hard for a year, going through more then most adults will go through in their entire lives.


The treatments for her cancer were harsh and aggressive and yet nothing could get even one of her many scans to be clear. If I could have I would have traded places with her in an instant. As a parent I would have done anything to save her, but I could not.


I am dedicated to bringing awareness to childhood cancer and to providing funding for research and for families with children that are currently fighting their own battles because I have been there. I know what it is like to watch your child fight so very bravely but at such a disadvantage from the start. I also know what it is like to have no choice but to watch as your child takes their last breath.


Emery’s fight may be over but ours is just beginning. Emery’s Thunder Run is so important to me. Not just because of the potential funding for Neuroblastoma research and the increase in childhood cancer awareness but the chance to be able to accomplish these things in honor of my daughter means everything to me.


Missy Smith

Co-Founder &Treasurer

(Emery's Mema)

Loving and losing a granddaughter to childhood cancer has changed the very core of who I am. Seeing Em fight cancer, fight to survive harsh treatments, and ultimately to lose her just seems so wrong. It bewilders and honestly angers me that in today’s day and age that there are no treatments that could save her. Being a part of Em’s journey exposed to me to two extremes. First, the immense love and generosity from friends, family, and strangers. Second, on the flip side, I was exposed to the depth of disparity in childhood cancer funding. Did you know that our government only gives 4% of it’s cancer funding to children… FOUR PERCENT!!!?


As a family we all knew that we wanted to be a part of change for childhood cancer. Emery’s Memory Foundation was born from that and is committed to loving on our “Emery’s” kiddos like we were when we were in the fight with Em, as well to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer.


Now my endless love for Em drives me to make things better. This grand undertaking, Emery’s Thunder Run, provides an outlet for that love. Love for the children and families who are still in the fight. Love for the children and families whose fight is done. I want to see a day in my lifetime where no other grandparents lose their grandchildren to cancer.


Because of Emery. For our “Emery’s” kiddos. For all the children who will be diagnosed with cancer tomorrow. You deserve more than 4%.


Serena Sackrider

Co-Founder & Secretary

(Emery's Mema)

My reason why is Emery.


I am Emery’s “At Home” Mema.


Emery was a blessing to behold. Her little 3 year old body was packed full of a beautiful spirit that radiated so much joy and an endless love for her family and life. She just wanted to be a healthy child. Emery longed to go outside and play, take an adventure to the zoo, pick flowers, and search the sky for the moon and stars. Instead she was inside. Inside a small hospital room for one third of her life fighting an aggressive painful cancer with more bravery and courage than anyone could even possibly imagine. Emery endured test after test, treatment after treatment with a contagious smile that encouraged and inspired the lives of many friends and strangers.


I have heard it said, “If you ever see a child fight cancer, it will change your life forever”. I have been changed forever. I would have moved heaven and earth to save Emery. Somehow, some way, we must do more. Emery deserved so much more. Our children deserve so much more.


For this reason, I have banded together with family and friends that passionately commit to honor Emery and her memory by raising much needed awareness and donations for funding neuroblastoma research, as well as a helping hand and happiness to childhood cancer fighters and their families.


Zach Smith

Emery's Daddy

Paul Smith

Emery's Papa

Ed Sackrider

Emery's Grandpa



emery inspired a rebellion

She was small but she was fierce.

Emery was only 2 years old when she was diagnosed with cancer, not just cancer but Stage 4 Neuroblastoma with the odds stacked against her from day one. 

She fought more bravely than any child ever should, but the available treatments failed her. 

Now we fight back. This foundation was created to save and support kids with Neuroblastoma - in memory of Emery. 

We must change this.


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